Tuesday, June 08, 2010 Posted by Dina N
As a singer, Carole King won over millions of fans with her honest portrayals of love and life. As a songwriter, she penned dozens of hits for others, many of which became American pop standards. Now for the first time, these two aspects of a long and celebrated career are combined, presenting the best of Carole King as both singer and songwriter. Together, these songs tell the complete story of an extraordinarily gifted and successful artist, who is still actively performing to this day, more than four decades later.
The Essential Carole King is a wonderful 2-CD set highlighting the best of this talented musician. The first CD includes 18 songs performed by Carole, including the Grammy®-winning songs It’s Too Late and You’ve Got A Friend, and collaborations with James Taylor, Celine Dion and Babyface. I was familiar with many of the songs but must admit I did not know Carole King was the one who wrote and performed them. Carole's expressive voice, beautiful vocals, and simple musical accompaniment make for a very pleasing musical experience. I enjoyed listening to every single song, and wished the disc included even more of Carole's performances. Some of my favorites are Child of Mine, I Feel the Earth Move, and You've Got a Friend. I found myself singing along, dancing around with my kids to the tune of this CD, or getting all sentimental on some of the slow pieces.
Disc 2 includes popular compositions of Carole King's performed by others, such as Up On The Roof (The Drifters), Natural Woman (Aretha Franklin), and Chains (The Beatles). The disc features 15 delightful songs. I love the selection - it's hard not to start dancing to The Loco-Motion, or sing (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman along with Aretha Franklin. I have to mention some of the other excellent songs such as Crying in the Rain (The Everly Brothers), Take Good Care of My Baby (Bobby Vee), and Pleasant Valley Sunday (The Monkees).
If you are a fan of old classics that have set the standards for American pop music, you'll love this album. It would make a great Father's Day gift, too. See - and hear - the complete list of tracks here.
Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received a complimentary review copy of this CD courtesy of Sony Music. The opinions are my own. No monetary compensation was provided for this post.