A welcomed return to the recording studio for Alison Krauss. And a welcome album addition of country standards beautiful tailored to the voice that has earned the admiration of fans time and time again.
"She meets the demands of the material beautifully, and she brings a warmth and subtle passion to songs like "Gentle on My Mind" and "You Don't Know Me" that makes you briefly forget the definitive recordings of these classics. It remains to be seen if Windy City is a brief creative detour for Alison Krauss or the first salvo of a new creative direction. But if Krauss wants to be the new voice of retro countrypolitan music, Windy City leaves no doubt that she has the talent and the intelligence to make it work, and this album is a richly satisfying experience." Allmusic Reviewer Mark Deming
I really enjoyed this album. Although, a little overproduced, i.e. every song is mixed almost in to blandness...I still love the clarity of A.Krause's voice that comes through. I guess because the songs are so familiar and I've listened to Krause's singing for many years, I played this album many times. Plus I had to laugh everytime I saw the cover!
I've always thought Alison Krauss has one of the loveliest voices in pop music, so I eagerly anticipated this album--sorry to say it's a disappointment. There are a couple cuts, "I Never Cared for You" and "Gentle on My Mind" that are well-orchestrated and interesting to listen to, but the rest is just not that enthralling. She's got mediocre musicians playing standard licks in support of her great voice and I just wonder why THIS was her reentry into cutting records.
I hope she gets back to bluegrass with Union Station or other great instrumentalists. She has too much talent to play a country diva, despite her newfound ability to grow big hair.
Pop / Country
I've often thought Alison Krauss' voice would be better suited to Pop rather than Bluegrass music. This album is a mix of both Pop and Country tunes, well-worn covers all. Surprisingly, Mm. Krauss' voice sounds even more emotionless on the pop songs than on the country ones — still beautiful but still controlled, and without feeling. I kept wishing on the song "You Don't Know Me', i could hear some ache in her voice.
The Latin arrangement of Willie Nelson's "i Never Loved You" is the stand-out tune. And John Hartford's "Gentle on My Mind" is lovely. But most of the song choices are not memorable.
The album i listened was the Deluxe model: 3 live versions of studio songs on the album. These 3 actually sounded a bit livelier than the studio ones.
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