13 Women, and 1 Man in a Piano Bar

Jun 1, 2002 (Updated Dec 10, 2002)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Great female singers cover the bouncy production numbers to torch songs.

Cons:Spouse is tired of hearing "Put on a Happy Face."

The Bottom Line: Majority of songs are vintage, although some performed by today's stars. A solid compilation that will leave you hopeful, upbeat, and ready for love.

I enjoyed the movie and thought that the songs blended well with the story while giving that vintage NYC Carlyle Hotel piano bar feel. Since I bought the CD, it has been in heavy rotation for my daily morning commute.

The Verve Label CD includes 14 tracks from or "inspired by" the movie.

Track 1.
Put on a Happy Face by Blossom Dearie (recorded 1964). Dearie's voice is very perky and cartoonish in this upbeat song. Warning: may wear on the nerves of people around you during repeated playing, especially if you find yourself humming the tune!

Track 7.
Manhattan by Ella Fitzgerald (recorded 1956). Classic Fitzgerald makes you think fondly about pre-9/11 New York City and summer love. A great production number for every "boy and goirl," would make a great selection for a road trip to the city.

Track 8.
Teach Me Tonight by Dinah Washington (recorded 1954). This is my favorite track on the CD. Washington's voice is strong and filled with bravado. This song would be brilliant in any slow dance/make out mix. A definite mood-maker with a little roll-playing thrown in.

Track 9.
Gee Baby, Ain't I Good to You? by Matt Rollings with Lyle Lovett (recorded 1994). The only men on the CD, they do a great rendition. I'm not sure why the Soundtrack Album Producers went will the all-female theme and then put these guys in the middle of it. Maybe it is an entertaining sorbet to prepare the ears for more female vocals in the second half?

Track 13.
What a Little Moonlight Can Do by Billie Holiday(recorded 1954). The song is classic Holiday, but the big disappointment on the CD. You can hardly discern the lyrics through the first 3/4 of the song because the band (especially trumpet) overpowers her with volume levels. Maybe trumpet player Charlie Shavers was a little too close to the microphone or the producer was trying to hide something in Holiday's performance? By the last chorus, Holiday's levels are back up, but it is too late to enjoy. This track is the only reason the CD is four instead of five stars.

Track 14.
I Wish You Love by (once again) Blossom Dearie (recorded 1964). Sandwiching the CD with two Dearie tunes is a nice touch. Although her voice is very saccharine-Shirley Temple, it works with the selection. This is my second favorite song. Setting her lover free without remorse...Sting would have been proud. Although, I would love to see the transformation of the song if it performed by a bitter drag queen.

The Producers did a nice job compiling and ordering the songs; they maintain their uniqueness without blend into one another or sounding like an unnatural progression. Overall, the CD is solid and upbeat. (No wallowing in self-pity/done me wrong songs here.) The best way to stomach the shortcomings of What a Little Moonlight Can Do, is to listen to it as an instrumental or sing along instead of listening for Holiday.

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