Thanks For Bringing Love Around Again

Ray Charles

Crossover Records, 2002

http://raycharles.com

REVIEW BY: Duke Egbert

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 05/14/2002

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Got the new Ray Charles CD. Listened to the new Ray Charles CD. Immediate response: "Damn, I hope I'm this cool when I'm as old as he is."

Charles just keeps goin'. He's like a force of nature; at 72, he's laying down vocal licks that some people have his age would kill to get, and he makes it sound so damn easy. He's recording on his own now because he wants to; he's gotten to the point where he's doing exactly what he intends to, no more, no less.

You would suspect that in an atmosphere of such relaxation and freedom it would show in the music. Happily, this is so. Thanks For Bringing Love Around Again is a cool, smooth, relaxed, delightful piece of work. Released on Charles's own Crossover Records label, this is his first commercial release in six years, and he hasn't lost a step. His vocals are sharp as ever, and the backing musicianship (unfortunately, I can't credit specific people, since I got an advance copy with no liner notes) is great. The production is clear and crisp, especially on sounds like Hammond organ and horns.

No getting around it. Charles is tight. Some highlights: A new, rearranged version of his 1959 hit "What'd I Say", the rocking "Save Your Lovin' Just For Me", the arching, poignant "Ensemble" (I want to know who the woman is singing duet with Ray. My GODS, she has a pretty voice.) and the funny, sly "Mr Creole". There are no weak tracks on the CD; this is a brilliant, brilliant piece of work.

I hope I'm half as cool as Ray is when I'm 72. As it is, Ray rules, plain and simple. Go out. Buy Ray. Get cooler.

Rating: A

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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© 2002 Duke Egbert and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Crossover Records, and is used for informational purposes only.