Monday, August 7, 2017

Andy Abraham-Soul Man (2006)


.....And yet even more proof (with all of this 'proof' I keep uncovering and springing upon "The Music Spectrum", I ought to be an attorney; just a side note I had to throw in there for a bit of a laugh) that I like showing love to the music reality show talents! I discovered this British singer Andy Abraham in a fun way; following my brief joyride listening to the BOYSTERIOUS "Up & Down", I was curious about the production work for the single, which led me to find out one of the producers had done production work for Andy Abraham as well. Then with my new-found discovery came the revelation that Andy was the runner-up to Shayne Ward after competing against one another on "The X Factor". Armed with that knowledge, I knew this guy would have an excellent voice, so it really made no difference to me which of his albums I decided to check out first—I expected them all to be good! Ultimately, I went for this second one very appropriately called "Soul Man", which I got all excited and anxious about listening to the moment I scanned the track-listing and recognized a lot of familiar popular music hits from the Motown songbook. I went straight for the ones I adore the most and whose lyrics I remember the best, beginning with Andy's take on the SMOKEY ROBINSON & THE MIRACLES classic, "Tracks Of My Tears", where I got formally introduced to the British singer's marvelous voice. I've heard so many versions of this now that I've lost count, but I must add this one to the list of favorites along with the versions by Lina Ronstadt and Michael McDonald. Next I played "What Becomes Of The Broeknhearted" (I've heard so many wonderful versions of this one, too, including the ones by Paul Young and Aussie boyband HUMAN NATURE), followed by "Don't Leave Me This Way" (nice to hear this one in a revamped, middle-tempo retro-pop format; I've always stayed hooked on the Thelma Houston disco version from the late 70's) and the COMMODORES classic, "Easy" (I could already hear Lionel Richie's distinctive voice echoing the words ; 'cause I'm easy, easy like Sunday morning ' long before the first pass of the chorus). Hadn't heard any versions of the DIANA ROSS & THE SUPREMES golden oldie, "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me", in quite a while, so it was refreshing to get to hear it again, always loving how the vocals of the singer rise when delivering the chorus and its trademark line ' 'I'm gonna make you love me, yes I will, yes I will ' . And the same holds true for "This Ole Heart Of Mine", which I heard first on the soft rock radio airwaves performed by the legendary Rod Stewart, and can now love all over again with Andy's renewed retro-pop remake featuring some dazzling piano work. Of course, I always find at least one or two unfamiliar songs on these covers albums, so thoroughly enjoyed for the first time in their respective modern-day formats were the epic, moving number,"Heaven Help Us All" (the vocals of both Andy and his backing singers are fabulous!) and the warming, holiday-themed concluding piece, "December Brings Me Back To You", which I already loved in the opening segment with the bluesy sway, the sad chords, the jingly bells and just that whole cuddly, fuzzy feeling that these Christmas tunes fill me up with:

1. Still
2. What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted
3. Don't Leave Me This Way
4. Ain't No Sunshine
5. Just My Imagination
6. I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honeybunch)
7. Easy
8. Tracks Of My Tears
9. This Ole Heart Of Mine
10. Too Busy Thinking 'Bout My Baby
11. I'm Gonna Make You Love Me
12. Heaven Help Us All
13. December Brings Me Back To You

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