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Album Review: Jason Donovan – Soundtrack Of The 80’s (2010)
This is the 5th studio album by Australian boy of the late 80s and 90s, Jason Donovan. I grew up with a lot of his stuff in the 80s which was more or less my first foray into ‘Pop’, back when I was knee deep in Rock and Metal. So I was looking forward to this album because the 80s were the year I became a music collector. I always enjoy his rendition of the Andrew Lloyd Weber track “Any Dream Will Do” from…Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
Boringly titled ‘Soundtracks Of the 80’s’, this album was a total disappointment.
I don’t want to start this album’s review on a negative, but honestly with the high expectations, which are already simmering en route to picking up the album; it was so disappointing. Although the choice of songs is amazing and many of them are some of my favorites, but ironically that’s probably what put me off. In the words of Simon Cowells (and with no disrespect to you and your talent, Mr. Donovan), “it was very karaoke”.
There were no changes to the arrangement or feel of any of the tracks. It was just that Jason Donovan was singing them now. Although he did well in some of them, but in many others, it wasn’t just without comparison to the original, it was a fairly scaled-down version.
The track list included some great tracks from the 80s. It took me deep into memory. I think while I loved the choice of songs, they weren’t just great songs, they were anthems. This means – you just can’t make another one. They are meant to remain original and by the original.
In ‘Soundtracks Of The 80’s’ Jason tries classics such as Mr. Misters ‘Broken Wings’, Tears For Fears, ‘Everybody Wants to Rule The World’, Richard Marx’ ‘Right Here Waiting’ or Mike & The Mechanics epic track ‘Living Years’. Then there’s The Cars classic ‘Drive’, as well as Howard Jones’ ‘What Is Love’. These songs not only defined the 80s, but to a large extent even defined the artists. I was pleasantly impressed with his selection of the lesser “Mary’s Prayer” by Danny Wilson. I love this song. The album also includes covers by Cutting Crew, Terence Trent D’Arby, Yazoo, Climie Fisher and Mike Oldfield.
He also released 2 new tracks ‘Talk You Down’ and ‘Goodnight Baby’ which were both okay.
All in all, it just didn’t work. His previous album was also a covers album called “Let It Be” with covers of classics from the 50s and 60s. Same problem there. Too much karaoke! As he walks the same road as artists like Rod Stewart and Phil Collins (recently), I think he’s talented enough to take on new stuff. I hope the next one isn’t a 90s cover album????
Nevertheless, I am not giving it up yet.
My star rating: I have to break it here…..
***** (Five) Stars for Song Selection with Variety
*** (Three) stars for delivery (he managed to pull off several).
* (One) for originality
** (Two) Overall
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