A Canadian Mennonite's sodden sermonizing on movies, music, miscellaneous.
...and I don't know if you want to count Cassandra Wilson's latest, "Thunderbird", fully produced by Mr. Burnett, as a Burnett item as well. A great album, IMHO.
I like Cassandra Wilson, but must confess to some ambivalence when I heard Burnett was producing. When he produced the Tony Bennett / k.d. lang record, I was among the first in line to buy it. But that disc proved to have a very short play-life, because it had so many over-the-top "sweet" touches. I'm guessing Bennett & lang were consciously responding to 9/11, and God knows we needed it, but the disc would have never left my player if they'd been less whimsical and kept to the minor key. How does Thunderbird compare?
First, I'm a Cassandra Wilson nut, so my bias will show. Burnett has the producer creds and 2 penned songs on Thuderbird...but the flavor of the album is still strongly Wilson's and the co-producer of the album, her musical director (and piano, keyboards, programming, and bass player) Keefus Ciancia. So, while critics have soared about Burnett's contribution to this cd, I still see it as a Wilson/Ciancia deal. Her versions of "Red River Valley" and "I Want to be Loved" are solid and the opening track, "Go to Mexico" compares well with her previous efforts. The production is thick and lush, without burying the best instrument on the album, Ms. Wilson's voice. I would recommend it highly; yes there are some, as you put it, "sweet touches", but Cassandra Wilson's growl rights the ship. She has to be the most sensual singer practicing her craft these days.
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