10 Songs, 35 Minutes

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Ratings and Reviews

JW-H ,

Like old friends in a new home

The musical arrangements are new but Sylvia did a great job keeping them familiar. It’s fun and fresh, but the best part is how Sylvia’s voice has gotten even better over time. The nuance and interpretation in her vocals is the absolute reason to buy this album. It’s not just an artist re-recording old hits. She said in interviews how life shows up in her voice and this is so true. Listen to Sweet Yesterday or You Can’t Go Back Home. Master class is vocal interpretation and worth the price of the album.

Shari54 ,

STICKLER FOR THE ORIGINALS

I love Sylvia's voice--always have. I'd like to hear something new and fresh from her. In my heart, nothing is better than her originals of these songs!

Bernardo Robert ,

Second Bloom is an instant classic!

Overall, this album’s new instrumentation and fresh vocals give it a timeless quality. You can probably listen to this album 20 years from now, and it won’t sound dated. The songs feel stripped-down to their very essence so that Sylvia’s vocals stand out more. After all, it’s all about Sylvia’s voice and how she draws us into her storytelling.

Now, I’d like to examine each track:

Drifter – The 7-second orchestral opening is dramatic and effective in this song. It’s the perfect lead-in to Sylvia’s vocals. She packs much more emotion into this version than the original as she cries out in the first chorus, “No one ropes the wind!”

Nobody – This song is sung with greater intensity of a frustrated lover. The instrumental touches give the song a sarcasm that matches Sylvia’s vocals. Her inflections on this version are less playful than the 1982 version, and bolder than the 2002 “hidden track” version. By the time she sings the last chorus, “Oh the fact is what you say is true,” we feel her pain. I also love how the song ends cold with no fade out, as if she just literally hung up on nobody.

Tumbleweed – The vocals on this remake are more passionate and more nuanced than the original. The listener is able to hang onto every syllable right up to the ending with “you’re gonna end up lonely.”

Fallin’ In Love – With all due respect to Grammy winner Brent Maher, I’ve always felt that the entire One Step Closer album was a tad bit overproduced. The instruments tended to drown out Sylvia’s vocals. This new version’s bluegrass sound is lighter, and it enhances her voice. Plus, it makes me want to dance!

Cry Just A Little Bit –The new instrumentals bring out Sylvia’s playful vocals. Similar to Nobody, I love the cold ending.
Sweet Yesterday – I must admit, the original version never really resonated with me. I didn’t know why, but now I do. The original was a bit drowned in backing vocals. I love the new version because its sole focus is Sylvia’s voice. The anguish of lost love is much more amplified in the new version.

Like Nothing Ever Happened – The original is such a classic that I wondered how Sylvia could possibly improve it. But she did. The instrumentals on the original are iconic, so altering them dramatically was a pretty bold move. But it was effective in making her vocals stand out more.

Snapshot – Of all the songs on the album, Snapshot is the one that was altered the most. The entire song was overhauled with new instruments and vocals. Her inflective sarcasm in this version makes it absolutely delightful. By the time she sings, “I took ev-er-y-thing,” we are really rooting for the cheated lover in the song.

I Love You By Heart – This song was always such a cute love duet, but it works beautifully as a solo song too. It never sounded better.

You Can’t Go Back Home – This song has always been one of my favorite songs and the new version really captures the bittersweet nostalgia of one’s childhood memories. The orchestral introduction makes the listener feel like they’re going back in time, like entering a dream. I also like the idea of removing the last line from the original song because I’ve always felt it clashed with the message of the song. Smart move!

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