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Confessions

Liza Minnelli

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Album Review

Early in 2010, Liza Minnelli appeared in Sex and the City 2, and placed two songs on its soundtrack: a cover of Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” and the Cole Porter classic “Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye.” Fans quickly began salivating for the album (announced as Confessions), of standards both old and new, perhaps featuring an Usher cover for the title track or something even more ambitious from a neo-cabaret act like La Roux. The result, however, is an old-school vocal album, featuring 14 standards of the pre-rock variety. Minnelli explained her woodshedding process for Confessions by talking about dinner parties where, after a few hours, guests inevitably congregate around the piano with drinks in hand and end the night singing the songs they all know by heart. She and producer Bruce Roberts achieve this level of intimacy. Her first non-cast, non-live album in 15 years, it features no orchestra, no whirlwind arrangements, and surprisingly, no show-stoppers — just a small group led by her longtime accompanist, pianist Billy Stritch (and quite a few songs include only Stritch’s accompaniment). The opener is the title track, originally from The Band Wagon, a witty apology for good behavior that fits Minnelli's persona perfectly. ("I never had a taste for wine, now isn't that a sin?/I never had a taste for wine, for wine can't compare with gin.") "You Fascinate Me So" and "I Hadn't Anyone Till You" are taken with the small group, a sympathetic band that accentuates the intended warmth. Throughout, Minnelli ably deflates the usual criticisms of an aging voice, turning her occasional weaknesses into interpretive strengths, smiling her way through the frailties.

Customer Reviews

Excellent

This album is so good...and relaxing....raw.... Splendid.... You fascinate me so and At last are brilliant jazzy jewels!!!
If you like a more personal jazz (vocal+piano) this is the album for you!!!!!
And can't wait for her summer tour!!! I'm having the privilege to see her in Paris!!! :))))

A delightfully unexpected gem of an album

At a time when many of Ms. Minnelli's recent performances have merely allowed her to showcase the husky maturity of her voice as she grows older, this record affords a surprising glimpse of what an entertainer of her stature and experience may be able to offer us in the years and decades to come. With the simplicity of Billy Stritch's piano accompaniments, which in fact tend to reign in her once natural if occasionally frantic urge to belt out numbers as she was capable of doing in her earlier years, Ms. Minnelli here offers us an album of wonderfully clever songs -- many of which will be unfamiliar to most listeners, although her take even on familiar ones (e.g. "Lost in his Arms") can be utterly original and transformative -- which instead showcases her experience when it comes to what seems by now to be an instinctive but also long and carefully honed ability rather to phrase and pace such numbers as these, bestowing upon them the care and attention that is the mark only of the most refined and experienced (to use the once popular phrase) "girl singers". In fact, this album may well anticipate an entirely new phase of Ms. Minnelli's already obviously long and distinguished career -- and a high point of it, at that. to match the youthful power of "Cabaret" and "New York, New York" -- in which, much like the albums recorded by the late, great Rosemary Clooney in her maturity, the singer engages with the entirety of the American songbook in a manner that is, once again (or at least sounds to the listener) instinctive and natural, and in which proper and precise care is bestowed on each and every word of each and every lyric. There are no wrong steps here. This is, after all, the product of a truly unique performer who has been capable of doing everything from instilling some emotion even into the typically wry if monotonic lyrical delivery of Neil Tennant's best material ... while simultaneously being easily at home with the most demanding material of America's greatest living musician and lyricist, Stephen Sondheim. It is a record to sneak onto the speakers ... unsuspecting listeners who never before dreamed of purchasing a record by Liza Minnelli seem invariably to find themselves captured, and are soon listening with care. It is also (characteristically) wry and often funny. One can only hope it is merely the first of many such efforts.

Biography

Born: 12 March 1946 in Hollywood, CA

Genre: Vocal

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Although singer/actress Liza Minnelli can count Academy Award-winning film roles, Tony Award-winning musical theater performances, Emmy Award-winning television specials, and gold-selling records among her accomplishments, she is primarily a concert performer whose career has been defined by a series of stage acts dating back to her nightclub debut in 1965. Her best work in film, in the musical theater, and on television has taken advantage of and grown out of her reputation as a live performer,...
Full bio