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The Love Songs (1997)

 
"You are my lover, you are my friend. You are my life, to the very end. You bring me comfort, you keep me warm, you give me hope, you make me strong. You take me away to a distant shore, and it's with you that I'm going to stay forevermore."

 

  1. Here is Your Paradise [3:29]
  2. Missing You [4:09]
  3. So Beautiful [3:49] new recording
  4. In Love Forever [4:02] new version of song from "Beautiful Dreams"
  5. Borderline [4:37]
  6. The Lady in Red [4:18] 
  7. Much More Than This [2:58]
  8. It's Me, (And I'm Ready to Go) [6:09] new recording
  9. Separate Tables [3:39] new version of song from "The Power of Ten"
  10. Fatal Hesitation [4:15]
  11. Forevermore [4:19] new recording
  12. The Head and the Heart [4:00]
  13. Lonely Sky [3:54] new version of song from "Spanish Train and Other Stories"
  14. Suddenly Love [3:14]
  15. If You Really Love Her, Let Her Go [3:33] new version of song from "At the End of a Perfect Day"
  16. In a Country Churchyard [4:02] new version of song from "At the End of a Perfect Day"
    When I first heard of this album, my first reaction was "Oh no, not another compilation album!" Having only the three new songs on it (though the packaging oddly says only two!) it was the first CdeB album that I did not scoop up the moment I first saw it. But of course I couldn't go too long before I had to get it. The first new song, "So Beautiful", is fine, but it is more what I would call bland. Nothing special, no deep lyrics, no haunting music. "It's Me, (And I'm Ready to Go)" is easily the best of the three new songs. It has the feeling of the classic CdeB songs. I would have liked it a bit more if it were telling a true story instead of just a rough background for another love song, but it is still powerful and I find myself singing it in my head now. "Forevermore" is also a nice romantic little song. As for the re-recordings, for the most part I enjoy the originals more. Most of them seem to have been toned down for this album and end up losing some of their oomph. "In Love Forever" seems to come out the best and I enjoy it equally with its original. For some reason, "Lonely Sky" sounds a little rushed and CdeB seems to be holding back. I keep expecting almost every note he holds to last another second or so longer. "If You Really Love Her, Let Her Go" perhaps suffers the most simply because he removed the most powerful and emotional part of the song. The entire section where he sings "She is like a bird yearning for the winter wind..." is gone. But aside from that it is well done. "In a Country Churchyard" seems good as well but I am still trying to get used to it.
    Overall, somewhat of a disappointment. Four of his last six albums have been mostly made up of previous material. At least for me, when I first bought this CD I was away from home and away from most of my CDs so it was nice to get hold of a number of the old originals, even if I do have them elsewhere. Of course I now have six copies of "The Lady in Red" in my collection!
    If I were to change a few selections??? Hmmm, well, no matter what else, I would have had to put in "All the Love I Have Inside". Somehow, it is one of the simplest and most romantic of all his songs. Perhaps "A Rainy Night in Paris" or "Crying and Laughing"... and we cannot forget "Where Peaceful Waters Flow". But as much as CdeB is best known for his love songs, perhaps a different format would have been better. Something that could have included "Transmission Ends" and "The Tower" and "The Last Time I Cried" and .... and ....

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