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Soul Speak
     

Soul Speak

4.5 7
by Michael McDonald
 

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In the tradition of his successful Motown records, Michael McDonald's new album is another collection of classic soul-tinged covers. This time, the soulful crooner tackles tunes made famous by music heavyweights including Stevie Wonder ("Living for the City"), Jackie Wilson ("Your Love Keeps Lifting Me Higher"), Van Morrison ("Into the Mystic"), Dionne Warwick ("Walk

Overview

In the tradition of his successful Motown records, Michael McDonald's new album is another collection of classic soul-tinged covers. This time, the soulful crooner tackles tunes made famous by music heavyweights including Stevie Wonder ("Living for the City"), Jackie Wilson ("Your Love Keeps Lifting Me Higher"), Van Morrison ("Into the Mystic"), Dionne Warwick ("Walk On By"), and Bob Marley ("Redemption Song"). Soul Speak also features three new songs: "Only God Can Help Me Now," "Enemy Within," and "Can't Get Over You (Getting Over Me)."

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
What's left for Michael McDonald after two albums of Motown covers? Plenty of soul standards that weren't recorded for Motown, plus several other songs that are "soulful" but not strictly soul, and that's just what he offers on Soul Speak, his 2008 sequel to his Motown sequel, 2004's Motown Two. Soul Speak shares the same basic sound and feel as the two Motown records -- it's all sleek, glassy grooves powered by pros -- and if it lacks the hint of looseness that made Two a superior record to its big brother, that's because Soul Speak isn't designed to be a party record like the Motown albums. As the covers of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" and Bob Marley's "Redemption Song" suggest, Soul Speak is a bit moodier and more contemplative than either of its Motown cousins, but that's a relative term: there are still plenty of sprightly, classy pop-soul grooves here, nice versions of "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)" and Stevie Wonder's "Living for the City" and "For Once In My Life" that keep Soul Speak moving. But where these brightly elegant grooves dominated on the Motown albums, they're used for coloring here, shading the covers of Cohen, Marley, and Van Morrison ("Into the Mystic") and three solid new originals from McDonald ("Only God Can Help Me Now," "Enemy Within," "Still Not Over You (Getting Over Me)"). Despite the soul in the title, this album recalls the warm soft rock that was his specialty in the early '80s as much as it does his recent soul, particularly because it does rely a little bit more on soft ballads (such as the excellent closer of the standard "You Don't Know Me"), and that is not a bad thing at all. Indeed, it could be argued that of his albums of the new millennium, Soul Speak comes the closest to capturing the sound and feel of Michael McDonald at his peak, all without ever sounding like a conscious re-creation of that time.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/04/2008
Label:
Umvd Labels
UPC:
0602517624139
catalogNumber:
001080602
Rank:
20710

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Michael McDonald   Primary Artist,Guitar,Piano,Keyboards,Vocals,Background Vocals
Michael Thompson   Guitar,Sitar
Vinnie Colaiuta   Drums
Nathan East   Bass Guitar
Kick Horns   Brass
Audrey Martells   Background Vocals
Sharon White   Background Vocals
Stevie Wonder   Harmonica
Doyle Bramhall   Guitar
Tim Lauer   Accordion
Toby Baker   Synthesizer,Keyboards
Abe Laboriel   Drums
Nicky "Misschief" Shaw   Percussion,Drums
Debbie Selby   Background Vocals
Denise "Nissi" Allen   Background Vocals
Tim Carmen   Organ,Piano
Rachel Oteh   Background Vocals
Drea Rhenee   Background Vocals
Calvin Nowell   Background Vocals
Out For Souls Choir   Background Vocals
Rian Peters   Background Vocals
Denise Allen   Background Vocals
Michelle John   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Eddy Arnold   Composer
Leonard Cohen   Composer
Bob Marley   Composer
Michael McDonald   Composer
Burt Bacharach   Composer
Cindy Walker   Composer
Simon Climie   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Engineer,Audio Production
Hal David   Composer
Alan Douglas   Engineer
Kick Horns   Brass Band
Nick Ingman   String Arrangements
Gary Jackson   Composer
Van Morrison   Composer
Dennis Morgan   Composer
Don Murray   Engineer
Tony Swain   Executive Producer
Cecil Womack   Composer
Linda Womack   Composer
Stevie Wonder   Composer
Raynard Miner   Composer
Toby Baker   Programming
Orlando Murden   Composer
Carl Wolfolk   Composer
Barry Despenza   Composer
Nicky "Misschief" Shaw   Arranger,Producer
Joel Evenden   Engineer
Shannon Forest   Engineer
Christopher Kornmann   Art Direction
Eddie Gip Noble   Composer

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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Soul Speak 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Although this cd is not yet available for shipment, a few websites have already leaked snippets of songs and three songs are already receiving airplay and charting well. The song selections are safe but the delivery manages to vary so the songs sound new. Guaranteed to be an easy listen.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Go Get It, this album is AWESOME
Guest More than 1 year ago
Soul Speak is a great cd i love all the songs on it Michael did a wonderful job on it!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had the opportunity to listen to this album yesterday. Mr. McDonald's voice is as always, fantastic. The choice of songs here, amazing. I highly recommend this album.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Michael McDonald gives a new twist to some classics. The album is great to listen to and, even better, my 5 year loves it! She asks me to play it everytime we go in the car because the beat is so catchy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Michael McDonald typically slams the pedal to the metal, and it's just as well he does. His terrific vocal performance saves 'Soul Speak', making up for several disappointing arrangements and a few uninspired cover choices. A pretty good album overall.