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Ultimate High
     

Ultimate High

by Carly Hennessy
 
Singer Carly Hennessy's debut album, produced and co-written by former New Radicals member Gregg Alexander and Daneille Brisebois, features '70s-influenced, radio-friendly power pop at its best. After the breakthrough success of Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too, Alexander retreated from the spotlight, deciding instead to focus on producing, and one could view

Overview

Singer Carly Hennessy's debut album, produced and co-written by former New Radicals member Gregg Alexander and Daneille Brisebois, features '70s-influenced, radio-friendly power pop at its best. After the breakthrough success of Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too, Alexander retreated from the spotlight, deciding instead to focus on producing, and one could view this as a follow-up, with most of the New Radicals making appearances. The teasingly heartbreaking "You'll Never Meet God (If You Break My Heart)" is especially reminiscent of the New Radicals' hit "You Get What You Give," down to the shouted count-in. Similarly, Brisebois has had her own struggles attempting a solo career, with her albums receiving critical praise while being largely ignored by the public. Her presence on Ultimate High has the feel of a big sister/mentor relationship to 17-year-old Hennessy. Hearkening back to the blue-eyed soul of Hall & Oates and '80s-era Fleetwood Mac, Ultimate High often sounds like a melding of Sarah MacLachlan vocal stylings with Todd Rundgren compositions. Not as self-consciously hip or arty as Nelly Furtado, Hennessy nonetheless stands apart from her bubblegum contemporaries with a powerful voice that owes more to Pat Benatar than Mariah Carey. Never one to shy away from provocative jibes -- check out the rant at the end of "You Get What You Give" -- Alexander even has Hennessy giggly cooing the Britney Spears-targeted missive, "Hit me baby one more time," during the chorus of "Boy I'm Gonna Blow Your Mind." The Alexander/Brisebois-penned songs are mature, cheeky, and memorable nuggets that perfectly showcase Hennessy's flirty vocals. This is the kind of producer/songwriter meets ingenue relationship that thrived at the Brill Building during the '60s, and is a welcome development. A native of Ireland, Hennessy is also credited with a few songs which fare equally well next to her producer's compositions, proving that she's nobody's puppet. Barring the Steve Dorf-produced track "All Kinds of People" -- which sounds like a warmed-over early-'90s Seal B-side -- Ultimate High is a consistently brilliant album.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/13/2001
Label:
Mca
UPC:
0008811258726
catalogNumber:
112587
Rank:
228488

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Carly Hennessy   Primary Artist
Bruce Dukov   Violin
Gregg Alexander   Guitar
Larry Aberman   Drums
Rusty Anderson   Guitar
Ron Aston   Drums
Darius Campo   Violin
Lenny Castro   Percussion
Brad Cole   Keyboards
Sheila E.   Percussion
Paul Gordon   Piano,Electric Guitar,Keyboards,Hammond Organ
Lance Morrison   Bass
John Pierce   Bass
Rose Stone   Background Vocals
Matt Laug   Drums
Michael Hart Thompson   Guitar
Danielle Brisebois   Acoustic Guitar,Percussion,Piano,Trumpet,Keyboards,Background Vocals
Suzie Katayama   Cello
Nick Lashley   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Background Vocals
Leland Sklar   Bass
Matt Austin   Piano,Keyboards
Carl Hennessy   Background Vocals
Marie Brisebois   Background Vocals
Chuck E.   Keyboards
James Halliwell   Piano
John Mabarack   Keyboards
Michael Ramos   Viola

Technical Credits

Gregg Alexander   Arranger,Producer
Tom Banghart   Engineer
George Black   Programming
Michael Vail Blum   Engineer
Steve Dorff   Producer
Ashley Howe   Engineer
Charles Judge   Programming
Ray Pyle   Engineer
Thom Russo   Engineer
Jess Sutcliffe   Engineer
Debbie Smith   Engineer
Danielle Brisebois   Arranger,Producer,Vocal Arrangements
Derek Gleason   Executive Producer
Tim Stedman   Art Direction
Andrew Nehra   Contributor
Robb Boldt   Producer
Ben Georgiades   Engineer
Eduardo Cimadori   Engineer
Ed Colman   Engineer
Moe "The Man" El Khamlichi   Engineer
Ethan Mates   Engineer
Chris Brown   Engineer
Avril Mackintosh   Pro-Tools

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