John and Lucie Collins - I Am Here
Hear The Track HereIf you went by the introductory blurb about this husband and wife team (comparisons with Celine Dion, Barbra Streisand, Sarah Brightman etc) you would think that I would run a mile because I cannot stand either of these three ladies - even despite recognising their undoubted talent. Sorry, but I just can't stand a screecher, ya know what I mean? Big surprise then that the first track I reviewed from them - A Voice In The Night (February 2006) - got a recommended from me. This came about because I liked the sophistication of the song itself (a remarkably jazzy Billie Holliday type deal) and I loved the way Lucie treated the vocal. Either way, what came out of that track was a very professional approach to what they do, and that in my books goes a long way to getting over any predjudice I might bring to the party.
I Am Here, unfortunately, carries a lot of Andrew Lloyd Webber overtones and that for me is a definite no-no. Mind you, even then, John and Lucie get the message across DESPITE my hatred for the famed plagarist but I fear you would have to like the female chanteuse style AND the whole Adult Contemporary thingie to really get this track. Not that there aren't enough afficiendos of that style to more than make up for the philistines like me who would walk through hot coals rather than spend time listening to material that sounds as if it belongs in a Broadway show. On that level, it does come down to a personal choice and - given the high quality of work on display here - that seems like a real shame.
The juxtaposition of these two track though does show how wide John and Lucie can throw their musical net and certainly there is nothing in I Am Here that would seriously make me throw up other than stylistically. It's a piano driven peice that shows that John (lyricist and musician) knows what he is about and his arrangement skills are of a very high standard, as is his musical expertise at laying down the actual track itself. Again, Lucie shows that she is a chanteuse to be reckoned with although I personally thought her voice sounded a little thin on this track when compared to A Voice In The Night. That may well have to do with they style this track is couched in, and I'll have to listen to more material to finally pin this one down. So, although I am sure there are going to be plenty of willing listeners to this track, I fear I will not be one of them. Not because there is anything wrong with it - other than that thinness I mentioned - but because I cannot seem to get over my own predjudice against this type of material.