Smile: Songs from the Movies

Smile: Songs from the Movies

by Lyle Lovett
     
 

On Smile, Lyle goes Hollywood -- not with a collection of new original songs but rather with a dozen cuts he's done for recent films. Leaning towards American pop songbook classics -- the ideal vehicle for his restrained expressiveness -- the sometimes actor serves up a feisty, playful take on Nat King Cole's "Straighten Up and Fly Right"; a warm reading ofSee more details below

Overview

On Smile, Lyle goes Hollywood -- not with a collection of new original songs but rather with a dozen cuts he's done for recent films. Leaning towards American pop songbook classics -- the ideal vehicle for his restrained expressiveness -- the sometimes actor serves up a feisty, playful take on Nat King Cole's "Straighten Up and Fly Right"; a warm reading of Irving Berlin's "Blue Skies"; a saloon-style blues turn on "Gee Baby, Ain't I Good to You"; and a beguilingly orchestrated, decidedly sinister arrangement of "Moritat (Mack the Knife)," with producer Mark Isham adding evocative support via steely, muted trumpet lines. A duet with Randy Newman on the latter's whimsical, old-timey tune, "You've Got a Friend in Me," featured in Toy Story, is a nice change of pace. The gently swaying folk-rock of Bob Seger's "Till It Shines," from the 1999 film Mumford, gets a lift from Keb' Mo''s gritty exposition of lyrics expressing hope within a plea for salvation. The disc concludes with two powerful gospel numbers produced by and featuring George Duke. "Pass Me Not," from Leap of Faith, builds to a slow boil, thanks to a gospel chorus featuring the great Francine Reed, who takes a Mahalia-like solo that lays waste to all the sinners, and the roaring "I'm a Soldier in the Army of the Lord," from Robert Duvall's The Apostle, which is fueled by frenetic hand clapping, incessant foot stomping, and rousing call-and-response parts by Lovett and a formidable backing choir that includes Sweet Pea Atkinson. Smile is a spirited collection exploring a fascinating sideline to Lyle Lovett's extensive career.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Since The Road to Ensenada in 1996, Lyle Lovett has released a collection of covers in 1998, a live album in 1999, a predominately instrumental soundtrack in 2000, and now, in 2003, Smile, a collection of songs he recorded for movie soundtracks between 1992 and 2002. None of these were on his official albums and none of them are originals (meaning that it's been nearly seven years since he's released a collection of new songs; this may or may not be a sign of writer's block). Most are covers of pop standards, with a couple of R&B and gospel standards thrown in for good measure (the one contemporary tune is "You've Got a Friend in Me," the Randy Newman duet from Toy Story). All are given perfectly tasteful, perfectly pleasant Large Band-styled arrangements; they're very faithful to the songs yet are styled to Lovett's idiosyncratic delivery. Overall, it's a nice listen and it's nice for collectors to get these all tunes in one place, but it's not essential and it's hard not to wish that Lovett would just finally do an album of new material already.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/25/2003
Label:
Mca
UPC:
0008811318420
catalogNumber:
113184

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Lyle Lovett   Primary Artist
Mark Isham   Trumpet
John Tropea   Guitar
Randy Newman   Piano,Harmonium
Michael Davis   Trombone
George Duke   Piano
Plas Johnson   Tenor Saxophone
David Mann   Alto Saxophone
Rob Mounsey   Piano,Conductor
Matt Rollings   Piano
Sweet Pea Atkinson   Vocals
Vaneese Thomas   Background Vocals
Jim Keltner   Drums
Tawatha Agee   Background Vocals
Abe Appleman   Violin
Laval Belle   Drums
Harry Bowens   Vocals
Larry Campbell   Pedal Steel Guitar
Everett Drake   Vocals
Lawrence Feldman   Tenor Saxophone
Crystal Garner   Viola
Mark Goldenberg   Guitar
William "Bill" Greene   Vocals
Ray Herndon   Guitar
Kenneth Hitchcock   Tenor Saxophone
David Hungate   Guitar
James "Hutch" Hutchinson   Bass
James Hynes   Trumpet
Viktor Krauss   Bass
Russ Kunkel   Drums
Abraham Laboriel   Bass
Ann Leathers   Violin
John Leftwich   Bass
Kenny Malone   Drums
Nancy McAlhany   Violin
Reggie McBride   Bass
Cindy Mizelle   Background Vocals
Jan Mullen   Violin
Dean Parks   Electric Guitar
Shawn Pelton   Drums
Sue Pray   Viola
Francine Reed   Vocals
Roger Rosenberg   Baritone Saxophone
Kevin Savigar   Hammond Organ
Andy Snitzer   Alto Saxophone
Donna Tecco   Violin
David Tofani   Tenor Saxophone
Keb' Mo'   Acoustic Guitar
Yuri Vodovoz   Violin
Jeff Kievit   Trumpet
Pat Bergeson   Guitar
Joellen R. Friedkin   Piano
Gabe Witcher   Violin
Steve Jordan   Drums
Laura Hamilton   Violin

Technical Credits

Kurt Weill   Composer
Mark Isham   Arranger,Producer
Irving Berlin   Composer
Ray Charles   Composer
Lyle Lovett   Producer
Randy Newman   Composer
George Duke   Producer
Jeremy Lubbock   Orchestration
Rob Mounsey   Arranger,Horn Arrangements
Matt Rollings   Producer
Irving Mills   Composer
Don Redman   Composer
Burt Bacharach   Composer,Producer
Elliot Lurie   Producer
Bertolt Brecht   Composer
Andy Razaf   Composer
Charlie Chaplin   Composer
Nat King Cole   Composer
Rob Eaton   Engineer
Ross Hogarth   Producer
Stephen Krause   Engineer
Nathaniel Kunkel   Engineer
Henry Mayer   Composer
Johnny Mercer   Composer
Rik Pekkonen   Engineer
Doug Sax   Mastering
Bob Seger   Composer
Allen Sides   Engineer
Russ Titelman   Producer
Don Was   Producer
Tim Rice   Composer
John Turner   Composer
Tim Stedman   Art Direction
Fanny Crosby   Composer
Hans Bradtke   Composer
Billy Williams & Choir   Producer
Traditional   Composer
W.H. Doane   Composer
Geoffrey Parsons   Composer

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