Friday, March 23, 2012

I Dream Of Melancholy

It's a Friday night, and as usual, I am home and relaxing. I was feeling a little melancholy this evening and felt that I somehow needed to indulge in it. Cue in: Michael Feinstein's 2011 album "We Dreamed These Days." I've been meaning to write about this album, for it is one of the most romantic albums I have heard of late. I figured, since I don't have romance by my side, I can put romantic music on and feel like it's the same thing. Ultimately, it's not, but this album is great in making you feel like you are in love: it's lush, it's sappy, it's mushy. On a cold cloudy night like tonight, it's the perfect musical score. Backed by the Carmel Symphony Orchestra (of Carmel, Indiana) the arrangements of these classic songs are so beautiful that Mr. Feinstein just goes along with them, without any of the excesses he has been displaying lately. Here, he lets the songs speak for themselves. My favorites: a pleading "As Long As She Needs me," with a lyrical trumpet backing that invokes a smoky jazzy rendition. Imagine yourself in a slow dance with the one you love, with just a spotlight to lead. It's swoon-worthy. And why do I never tire of listening to "How Do You Keep The Music Playing," a song that plays better sung as a solo, in my opinion. The urgency of trying to salvage love never loses its appeal. And the couplet of "When I Fall In Love/My Foolish Heart" stings so bad - you just give in to that notion that when the heart speaks, you just listen. And even on pop-ized songs like "I'd Rather Leave While I'm In Love," the heartbreak doesn't dissipate. Yes, this is a collection of mostly melancholy, but sometimes you really do need to indulge. On such a night like this, is perfection.

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