Idol Chatter

annemurraycdcover.jpgWhile not particularly a fan of Anne Murray’s mellow croonings about love and loss, I was curious about her latest effort “‘Duets: Friends and Legends.” I enjoy it when unlikely combination of singers join together to create a fresh twist on classic songs. On “Duets” Murray has attempted to do just that by lining up an eclectic mix of female singers including Nelly Furtado, Amy Grant, and the late Dusty Springfield to sing some of Murray’s greatest hits with her. Unfortunately, all of the star power is not enough to overcome the weaknesses of most of “Duets” arrangements.

Country singers Shania Twain and Shelby Lynne are the most natural voices to blend in with Murray on “You Needed Me” and “You Won’t See Me.” Emmy Lou Harris and Martina McBride also are an enjoyable–if not especially creative–fit with Murray’s musical style on two other tracks.
But when Murray tries to stretch outside of her comfort zone, it has mixed results. On Murray’s duets with Sarah Brightman and Celine Dion on “Snowbird” and “When I Fall in Love,” Dion and Brightman’s divaesque, showstopping beltings don’t really mesh with Murray’s more laidback approach. Even more awkward is Murray’s duet with Nelly Furtado on the Monkees’ hit “Daydream Believer.” Such a catchy, cheesy song really had possibilities if Murray had cut loose and joined in with Frutado’s funkier style.
Similar to Anne Wilson’s recording of musical duets last year, this “Duets” is probably a worthwhile listen for die-hard Murray fans, but it is most definitely not a crossover effort that will inspire a new audience to give Murray’s numerous, award-winning recordings a closer look.

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