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Soul Speak

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iTunes Review

On Soul Speak, Michael McDonald extends the success of his two Motown tribute albums with a broader selection of tunes. In the process, he reminds listeners why he became a mega-star with the Doobie Brothers three decades ago — his burly tenor has lost none of its pain-wracked urgency or velvety tenderness. With executive producer Tony Swain and his coterie of UK-based arrangers back at the helm, McDonald wraps his voice around these songs with respect and affection. “For Once in My Life,” “Love TKO” and “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher” are rendered in his familiar soul-pop vein. Several tunes — especially Eddy Arnold’s “You Don’t Know Me” and Van Morrison’s “Into the Mystic” — are such perfect fits that it’s amazing McDonald didn’t record them years ago. More unexpected is his plaintive, gospel-rooted rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” and his sleek, de-reggaefied take on Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song.” Soul Speak finds McDonald in revivified form, expressing himself with eloquence.

Customer Reviews

Speaking of "Soul Speak"

1st off, let the people who take this as just another CD of covers. They are misinformed, Michael McDonald hand pick these songs to do because they were songs that turned his head and inspired him as a musician when he was growing up. There are also 3 brand new songs as well: Getting Over Me, Enemy Within and Only God Can Help Me Now. Michael's vocals are just incredible, there is quite a variety of music from blues, rock, and soul. Very nice arangements of the older songs and a good mix with new songs. There is a good vibe lyrically in both old and new tracks, about finding redemption and the hope of a better tommorow. You will be rocken and dancing and thinking while lstening to this CD. A must own for any Michael McDonald fan. To me the best of the 3 projects from the Motown label. and hope the Sounds of the 3 new songs continues on a full album of new material to come. Enemy Within is just awsome. Also his screams in Livin for the city and I knew you were waiting will be felt in the pit of your stomach. Such a great CD, no doubt about it. Rock On Michael -Mike Sippie

Just Buy It Already!!

I have been anticipating this album and it is exactly what we need in music today. It's all there: longevity, passion, great lyrics, and a smooth and soulfoul sound ...a great message in itself. I think the album name, " Soul Speak" says it all. It's obvious that the song selections each have personal meaning to Michael McDonald and are a reflection of his musical inspirations and personal journey within himself, not only as an artist, but as a man of faith. Great music is coming back...and if you like this album, you'll probably like Lenny Kravitz's "Love Revolution" and Shelby Lynne's "Just A Little Lovin"....both new releases. They all parallel the same message of love, faith and honesty, which is very hard to find in music today. I also had the pleasure of meeting Mr. McDonald in the Atlanta Hartsfield Airport, he was very gracious and I told him I was looking forward to his next album. I am very pleased with the outcome, he has managed to bring back his original sound that we all love him for and still interject the Motown sound as well. My advice: Bypass ITunes and pick up this CD from your nearest retailer's worth the money. And Mr. McDonald....only a true fan would stop you like I did and anxiously await your album, job well done!

McDonald is Soul....

This might not be for everyone, but after a long week, this is what I want to settle back and listen to. We don't want Michael McDonald to be Bob Marley (God Forbid!). We just want him to be Michael McDonald, and this CD is McDonald at his best!


Born: February 12, 1952 in St. Louis, MO

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

With his husky, soulful baritone, Michael McDonald became one of the most distinctive and popular vocalists to emerge from the laid-back California pop/rock scene of the late '70s. McDonald found the middle ground between blue-eyed soul and smooth, soft rock, a sound that made him a star. He initially essayed his signature style with the Doobie Brothers, ushering in the group's most popular period with hits like "What a Fool Believes" and "Taking It to the Streets." McDonald disbanded the group in...
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Soul Speak, Michael McDonald
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