October 22, 2009

De Ja Vu? Diana Krall, Quiet Nights.

The sound is lush, smooth, syruppy and romantic. Just like my system! He!He!

With this new CD, titled Quiet Nights, Diana Krall seems to have come full circle, since her first studio effort called The Look of Love. Well at least for me she did seemingly done so.

From the very first song, Where or when, it just struck me as how similar it sounded to the earlier album. A peek in to the liner notes shows just why, this album is produced in collaboration with Tommy LiPuma, Al Schmidt and orchestral arrangement conducted by Claus Ogerman. The very same people behind the scenes of The Look of Love!

Whilst listening and peeking through the liner notes, one thing that really struck me sonically was especially the way the high hats and cymbals sound. Refined, delicately airy and that soft glowing brass tone reminds me of some bespoke or custom made musical instrument(glad to know that after more than a decade away from the drum set, this fella can still hear and recognise something special). Again I found that in the liner notes was a special mention of drummer Jeff Hamilton plays Bosphorus "Hammer Series" cymbals, Reno drums and heads. Regal Tip signature sticks and brushes. WOW!

I am just so happy to note that it has proved my last big hifi upgrade(the Siltech Classic Anniversary 330L speaker cables), which caused a roar amongst many whom know me, is now proving to be so sonically transparent, it's little cues like this that makes a hifi discovery day worth while!

Quiet Nights also sounds and feels so similar to this Diana Krall effort. Only that The Look of Love came first, and at that time sounded like a breath of fresh air, so many audiophiles and music lovers naturally bought a copy. I can't see the same ground breaking success with the latest CD.

Before I proceed further, it must be made known that I am not here to trash Diana Krall. In fact, I've been her fan since The Look of Love, but I some how gave up buying her CDs after a few preceding albums, only because she is ever so predictably polished. Diana Krall is one classy dame, that's for sure, she's always in control and never gets a note wrong. However, sometimes, just sometimes, I'd really wished she'd let her hair down a bit and just have a little fun! In her concert DVDs, she seldom teases or interacts with the audience, she seldom gets up and boogie a little. She's always primed and proper, just singing intently behind the piano. I guess what I am trying to say is that she should show a little personality behind the beautiful face.

The whole Quiet Nights CD feels just like The Look of Love all over again, just with different songs. I like track 2, Too Marvelous For Words. Track 4, The Boy From Ipanema. Track 5, Walk on By(but Sybil's R&B flavoured version is a whole lot better!). Track 8, So Nice(kinda gives Stacy Kent a run for the money!) and lastly, Track 9, Quiet Nights. The bonus track, which is Bee Gees inspired tune, How Can You Mend A Broken Heart is surprisingly good too.

Recording quality on my Malaysia Edition, a.k.a. el cheapo local pressing is decent and if I don't compare to the US pressing, I'd probably not missed much. No, I didn't compared, if you have to ask.

Forest Gump(remember that cheesy, but feel good Tom Hanks movie?) says "Life is like a box of chocolates, you'll never know what you're gonna get, till you open it up!" Diana Krall is so..... unlike that box of chocolates, because you'll always know what you're gonna get! That is polished performance, classy song arrangements and very decent recording quality, if only lacking a little soul.

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