Tell It Like It Is [Aim]
Though not as carefully compiled or lovingly packaged as one might like (perfunctory liner notes, no musician credits, no information about the songs' original releases, etc.), this is a pretty good and attractively priced collection of songs from the great Aaron Neville's early and middle career. You won't find any of his hits from the last decade or two -- no Linda Ronstadt collaborations -- but you'll find the legendary title track and his appealingly bare-bones arrangement of "Cry Me a River," and you'll marvel at his ability to make you listen all the way through to such sappy 1970s fare as "Baby I'm a Want You" and even the dread "Feelings." The bottom line remains what it always is: there are few musical pleasures as great as listening to Aaron Neville sing a love song -- or sing an R&B song, or a sacred hymn, or a random page from the phone book for that matter. The sound quality on this cheapo two-fer runs the gamut from dodgy to acceptable, but that angelic voice cuts through the lackluster production without a scratch -- note in particular how the fuzzy, saturated, poorly balanced instrumental intro to "Waiting for a Bus" suddenly loses its ability to annoy when Neville's sweet tenor comes in on the first verse. There are much better Aaron Neville compilations out there, but this one's not a bad place for the budget-minded to start.