Interpretations: Celebrating the Music of Earth, Wind & Fire (2007)

March 12, 2009


A few weekends before Circuit City closed it’s doors I was able to pick of a few CDs , at half price,  that I had not purchased when they first came out or was unaware of for one reason or another.

This particular CD was a tiny blip on my radar, but I guess due to lack of promotion I never was nudged to pursue it.  The only song I recall hearing on the radio from this CD was track number 3 that I did not even associate as being from this project — since the radio station never mentioned it.

This set, produced my Maurice White & Herb Trawick, came about by allowing the artists to select which song from the marvelously massive  EW&F catalog that they would like to “interpret.”

Even though the liner notes of the CD give much praise to the “interpretations” — I will have to put on my Simon Cowell hat and say that most just sound like “karaoke covers.” In fact, frankly, I think that this project wasn’t a particularly great idea (no disrespect intended to you Mr. White)  since everything thing that EW&F has produced is the cream of the corp and can not be improved upon IMHO.  Some things should just be left alone.

When given the chance it is so sad that most of these artists just did a straight cover — not even bothering to alter the EW&F arrangements in any way, shape or form. I think all but Meshell Ndegeocello missed the whole meaning of the word “interpretation” and really lost out on this golden opportunity to show their own unique artistry. Ms. Ndegeocello is credited as the Arranger on her track and she did a fine, fine job.

I have given my ratings for these covers using stars from 1 – 5.  One  star would be the normal karaoke cover. Three stars would be something a little better that average vocally or arrangement wise. And 5 would be a well done – unique interpretation.

Track List:

1. Shining Star – Chaka Kahn (1 star – sorry Chaka. I do love you as an artist)

2. Be Ever Wonderful – Angie Stone (3.5 stars)

3. September – Kirk Franklin. (3 stars) Here is the Universal Music Group’s Promotional video of this track.

4. Devotion – Ledisi (4.5 stars). I wasn’t that familiar with this artist’s work but her vocal instrument is awesome. Give it a listen and I am sure you will check out more by this talented young lady as I plan to.

5. Can’t Hide Love – The Randy Watson Experience featuring Bilal (3 stars)

6. Love’s Holiday – Lala Hathaway (4 stars)

7. That’s The Way Of The World – Dwele (2 stars)

8. After The Love Is Gone (3 stars)

9. Reasons – Musiq Soulchild (1 star) What a waste of a golden opportunity. Phillip Bailey has one of the most unique falsettos ever to grace Popular music. No one should try to cover this  in falsetto. THis would have been so very effective if this artists had sung this song it his natural tenor in his own style.

10. Fantasy – Meshell Ndegeocello (5 stars)

Bonus Track

11. That’s the Way of the World (Quentin Harris Reproduction) – Dwele (4 stars for effort and uniqueness even though I don’t paraticularly care for it)

I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on this CD if you own it.


2 Responses to “Interpretations: Celebrating the Music of Earth, Wind & Fire (2007)”

  1. Kevin Says:

    Hmmm. Hadn’t heard about this recording and I’m a EW&F fanatic. The descriptions have me intrigued. I will check them out on Amazon. Nice blog.

    • sondan Says:

      Hi Kevin,
      Thanks for the compliment. As an EW&F fan you def might find it an interesting listen to hear what the selected artists did with the tunes. I feel it’s a mixed bag that includes some “great interpretations” and some plain old
      “karaoke” covers. But do check it out for yourself and certainly feel free to share your views here. I would love to hear your thoughts.

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