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The Very Best of Dina Carroll

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Album Review

It's hard to believe it now, given her complete retreat back into obscurity, but in the mid-'90s Scottish soul-pop vocalist Dina Carroll was one of the biggest pop stars in the U.K. Unfortunately, due to various record company wranglings, her career has undeservedly gone the same way of fellow Brit winners Shola Ama, Des'ree, and Sonique. She hasn't really been heard in the subsequent decade at all, bar a contribution to the Bridget Jones soundtrack, and this 2001 collection, her first and only official album to compile the biggest hits from her career in the 2000s. All six singles appear from her 1993 debut So Close, whose mixture of soul-pop, power ballads, and commercial dance pop earned her comparisons with Mariah, Whitney, and Janet. The epic "Don't Be a Stranger" remains her signature tune, but the C+C Music Factory-produced "Special Kind of Love," the smooth disco-pop of debut solo hit "Ain't No Man," and the jazz-funk of "Express" proved she was more than just a big-voiced balladeer. Her 1996 sophomore album Only Human is represented by five of its 12 tracks, including her rendition of Andrew Lloyd Webber's theme to Sunset Boulevard, "The Perfect Year," her joint, worldbeat-inspired, highest-charting single "Escaping," and the Black Box-esque "Living for the Weekend," which pushed Carroll further into the dance diva territory she originally came from. But while sales of two million between them suggest many fans will already own most of this material, The Very Best Of does, in fact, include eight tracks that have never appeared on a Dina Carroll album before. Her collaboration with Quartz on her breakthrough cover of Carole King's "It's Too Late" will be the most familiar, but there are also late-'90s Top 20 singles "One, Two, Three" and "Without Love," both of which were scheduled to appear on her shelved third album, and two canceled singles, "Say You Love Me" and a sassy R&B reworking of Dusty Springfield's "Son of a Preacher Man." Elsewhere, there are two previously unreleased songs, "Good to Me," and the Ronan Keating-penned "All I Ask," and her final Top 40 single, a faithful performance of Van Morrison's "Someone Like You," all of which suggest Carroll still has much to offer. Of course, much of the material here is so quintessentially '90s that it should come with a free pair of combat trousers, but even though the more up-tempo material hasn't aged particularly well, The Very Best of Dina Carroll is still an enjoyable and welcome reminder of the career of one of Britain's forgotten pop talents. ~ Jon O'Brien, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Amazing

Dina is one of those artists that you tend to forget because you never hear about her anymore but when you hear her songs you remember exactly how brilliant she is. The first song I heard of her's was 'Don't be a stranger' when I was a little kid and it still has the same power and emotion that it had back then. 28 songs for only £13. Not bad at all.

Dina Carroll (Amazing)

What an artist... Love her voice, my all time favourite song is Don't be a Stranger but she also did some other great songs like Perfect Year, So Close, This Time, amazing voice, amazing artist, thank you Dina :)

Dina the ORIGINAL DIVA

WHERE HAS SHE GONE? SO AMAZING REALLY MISS DINA!!!

Biography

Born: 21 August 1968 in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada

Genre: Dance

Years Active: '90s

Combining the early soul-pop of Mariah Carey, the power balladry of Whitney Houston, and the sophisticated dance-pop of M People, Dina Carroll was one of the most successful U.K. female vocalists of the '90s. Born in Newmarket, Suffolk in 1968 to a Scottish mother and Afro-American G.I. father, Carroll began singing with her sister at a young age, and after winning a talent competition at school, she decided to pursue a career in the music industry. In her teens, she moved to West London after signing...
Full bio
The Very Best of Dina Carroll, Dina Carroll
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  • Partial Album
  • Genres: R&B/Soul, Music, Rock
  • Released: 01 January 2001

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