Tuesday, December 4, 2007

No. 263: The Genius of Ray Charles

Band: Ray Charles
Album: The Genius of Ray Charles
Why Rolling Stone gets it right: Charles' place in the evolution of music is hard to ignore and the success of his biopic just reinforces that.
Why Rolling Stone gets it wrong: The sounds is too much. Charles makes the standards his own, certainly, but the arrangements take nearly as much from big band as it does from the blues and R&B.
Best song: "Alexander's Ragtime Band" is pretty great and, of course "Let The Good Times Roll" is fantastic.
Worst song: "'Deed I Do" isn't great.
Is it awesome?: I'm not in love with it.

I am lazy and I still haven't seen "Ray," so I probably can't put this album in a correct context. Still, like "Stardust," there are a lot of songs on this record that I know (probably due to Charles' skill) and it's a fine album.

The record is overproduced and the idea of Charles as a piano/voice troubadour doesn't apply at all. In fact, the horns and background singers don't do it for me; I prefer the stripped down sound.

Genius? Eh. Maybe. Not to me, though.

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