Release Date: 11.05.02
Record label: Decca/Universal
by: jonathan baran
Ok, so I admit it, I had a bit of a bias towards this album before I even put it in my CD player, and as a music journalist that is simply not appropriate. I should judge the work based entirely on the merit of the songs. So as a music journalist I can honestly say that this work sucks entirely on its own merit.
The basis of the album is to take sugar saccharine, sappy love songs that were already lame and have Donny Osmond sing them, making them exponentially lamer. The album starts off with the incredibly clichéd “Without You” (as in “I can’t live if living is without you”) and it fails to gain any originality. Granted it is a cover album, but it is one of those cover albums that attempts to recreate the songs note-for-note which always begs the question “Why cover it?” Plus, Somewhere in Time has a rendition of Paul Anka’s “Puppy Love” and that is just uncalled for.
The low point of the album comes not when Donny makes bad songs worse, but on the few occasions when he makes decent songs unbearable. His cover of the Crowded House hit “Don’t Dream it’s Over” should be considered criminal, and his cover of the guilty pleasure (but again incredibly clichéd) “Happy Together” is almost as bad. But at least his destruction of these songs keeps the album’s sound consistent.
If you take a look around the music-critic.com website most of the reviews you will see will be for bands like Sigur Ros and The Roots, so to be fair I don’t think neither I nor the majority of the website’s loyal readers are the demographic Decca really cares for with this release. But I find it hard to believe that even loyal listeners of vocal pop would enjoy this album. It’s a good bet that people who enjoy this style of music will already have many of the songs covered in their original format and Donny fails to make any improvements or add any originality to his covers.
This album would be fine listening for an elevator or dentist office muzak, but Donny and his team of collaborators could have done a much better job than releasing what essential sounds like a really bad adult contemporary pop album from the early 80’s. 19-Jan-2002 6:32 PM