Songs of Love & Loss, Vol. 2

Songs of Love & Loss, Vol. 2

4.5 2
by Tina Arena
     
 

Following the success of 2007's Songs of Love & Loss, one of Australia's most successful female musical exports, Tina Arena, returns with another collection of orchestral cover versions of classic pop songs. While its predecessor concentrated on the lounge-pop standards of the '60s and '70s, the second volume is ever so slightly more contemporary, with…  See more details below

Overview

Following the success of 2007's Songs of Love & Loss, one of Australia's most successful female musical exports, Tina Arena, returns with another collection of orchestral cover versions of classic pop songs. While its predecessor concentrated on the lounge-pop standards of the '60s and '70s, the second volume is ever so slightly more contemporary, with renditions of several hits from the early-'80s era which inspired Arena to pursue a singing career. Backed by Simon Hale's London Studio Orchestra, the 12-track release is far from the quick-buck karaoke affair favored by many less inventive artists, as apart from faithful renditions of Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now" and Lulu's "Oh Me Oh My," Arena manages to put her own stamp on songs several decades old, with admittedly mixed results. Her take on the Carpenters' "Close to You" will undoubtedly shock fans of the Bacharach-penned classic, but its echoing Massive Attack-style trip-hop beats, haunting synth strings, and gothic operatic backing vocals are an impressively bold attempt to add a previously unheard sinister edge to the hopelessly romantic love song. It's an edge which is sorely lacking on her interpretation of the Police's stalker anthem "Every Breath You Take," which removes the dark undertones of the original and replaces it with an out of place, breezy, Sade-inspired cocktail bar arrangement. Elsewhere, Blondie's new-wave anthem "Call Me" is turned into a '60s-inspired Brill Building, girl group stomper; Canadian one-hit wonders the Promises' synth-glam number "Baby It's You" is given an overblown musical theater make-over, while the tribal drums, Hindu chanting, and Indian flutes on "Nights in White Satin" provides a Middle Eastern flavor to the Moody Blues' standard. But the album is far more convincing when Mark Blackwell and Greg Fitzgerald's bombastic production is toned down in favor of a more subtle and stripped-back vibe which allows Arena's sweet but powerful vocal abilities to shine. "Wouldn't It Be Good" is a gorgeous adaptation of Nik Kershaw's synth pop hit whose melancholic piano-based sound evokes the wintry balladry of Sarah McLachlan; "Only Women Bleed" is a tender, countrified reworking of Alice Cooper's bluesy tale of domestic abuse which enables Arena to unleash her Celine Dion-esque powerhouse tones, while her respectful cover of Elton John's "Your Song" emotes more feeling in its opening bars than the entirety of Ellie Goulding's recently celebrated version. With such a stunning voice, Arena should be a much bigger star than she is, but despite its admirable attempts to inject new life into some iconic songs, its inconsistency means that Songs of Love & Loss, Vol. 2 isn't going to change things any time soon.

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Product Details

Release Date:
12/16/2008
Label:
Emd Int'l
UPC:
5099924266420
catalogNumber:
2426642

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Tina Arena   Primary Artist,Background Vocals
Derek Watkins   Trumpet,Flugelhorn
Mark Berrow   Violin
Liz Edwards   Violin
Andy Findon   Flute,Alto Saxophone,Duduk
John Heley   Celli
Garfield Jackson   Viola
Skaila Kanga   Harp
Martin Loveday   Celli
Rita Manning   Violin
Kate Musker   Viola
Mark Nightingale   Tenor Trombone
Johnathan Rees   Violin
Cathy Thompson   Violin
Philip Todd   Alto Flute,Baritone Saxophone
Simon Hale   Conductor
Mary Scully   Bass
Peter Lale   Viola
Tony Pleeth   Celli
Patrick Kiernan   Violin
Boguslaw Kostecki   Violin
David Daniels [cello]   Celli
Everton Nelson   Violin
Perry Mason   Violin,Leader
Emlyn Singleton   Violin
Warren Zielinski   Violin
Greg Fitzgerald   Bass,Guitar,Percussion,Piano,Keyboards,Background Vocals
Marli Buck   Background Vocals
Paul Guardiani   Keyboards
Tom Pigott-Smith   Violin
Christopher Tombling   Violin
David Woodcock   Violin
Phillip Eastop   French Horn
Peter Hanson   Violin
Steve Morris   Violin

Technical Credits

Alice Cooper   Composer
Tim Finn   Composer
Debbie Harry   Composer
Justin Hayward   Composer
Elton John   Composer
Nik Kershaw   Composer
Joni Mitchell   Composer
Burt Bacharach   Composer
Giorgio Moroder   Composer
Tina Arena   Executive Producer
Hal David   Composer
Bernie Taupin   Composer
Simon Hale   Orchestral Arrangements
Peter Lale   Principal
Tony Pleeth   Principal
Bruce Pawsey   Management
Jim Doris   Composer
Warren Zielinski   Principal
Greg Fitzgerald   Programming,Producer,Engineer
Mat Bartram   Engineer
Paul Guardiani   Programming,Producer,Engineer
Steve Price   Engineer
Gordon Sumner   Composer

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