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Strangers Again

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Album Review

In the four years since her previous studio LP, 2011's Bohemian, vocal icon Judy Collins added a spate of live releases and another holiday album to her prolific late-career catalog. Well into her sixth decade as a recording artist, she has little left to prove and yet she shows no signs of slowing her pace as she delivers Strangers Again, a 12-song collection of duets, all with men. The format was casual with each of her chosen counterparts given the option to either sing a song of Collins' choosing or bring his own selection to the table. While much of the material here falls pretty squarely in each vocalist's wheelhouse, there are a few surprises. With his pleasantly rough-hewn voice, actor Jeff Bridges has tended to skew toward country and roots songs in his music career, but his choice of the Leonard Bernstein-penned "Make Our Garden Grow" from the musical Candide puts both singers on common ground as they step out beyond their expected repertoire. Other tracks make perfect sense, like her duet with veteran songwriter Marc Cohn on James Taylor's poignant "Belfast to Boston" or on Randy Newman's lovely "Feels Like Home" which apparently was given to Jackson Browne when Newman politely refused to pair his limited vocal chops with Collins' still-fluid soprano. Among her well-established gentlemen peers, there are also some younger foils holding their own, with New York singer/songwriter Ari Hest offering up his own song for the title track and Norwegian indie folk crooner Thomas Dybdahl doing the same on "From Grace." Still, one the album's strongest cuts features another prolific icon whose strange, sandy tenor has dueted with the best of them. When Willie Nelson's timeless cracked tenor interweaves with Collins' dreamy musings on the moody, banjo-led "When I Go," it's the sound of two interpretive masters doing what they do best.

Customer Reviews

Haunting Voice!!! 😍😍😍

This lady is just TIMELESS!!! 😍😍😍😍😍😍

Like a fine wine -- it's better with age

Listening to this album, it's unbelievable that Judy Collins is 76 years old. She sounds like someone in their 40's. Not only does she sound fantastic, the material is great and her duet partners diverse and spot on. Strangers Again, From Grace, Miracle River and When I Go are particular stand-outs, though really the whole album is wonderful. Only does the duet with Jackson Browne ("Feels Like Home") seem a bit uninspired. Judy Collins is a model for us all on how to age gracefully and still live with vigor and purpose. She's been my favorite singer since the 70's and she's certainly had an uneven career. It's inspiring and wonderful to see her release what could arguably be the best overall album of her entire career at this point in her life.

Timeless Judy

She has done it again! A beautiful selection of songs- interesting duet partners- I love how she blends with them. She is amazing!

Biography

Born: May 1, 1939 in Seattle, WA

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

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

Singer Judy Collins was, along with Joan Baez, one of the two major interpretive singers to emerge from the folk revival of the late '50s and early '60s. Like Baez, she began singing traditional folk songs, then moved on to popularize the work of contemporary singer/songwriters, even writing her own songs occasionally. Unlike Baez, she used her classical music training to evolve into being a singer of art songs and show tunes, sometimes employing semi-classical arrangements. In a career that began...
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Strangers Again, Judy Collins
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