163. Ray Charles – “Genius Loves Company”

Oh dear.  Another CD that I had nothing to with purchasing.  It seems my wife doesn’t stray far from the “C” box in the music store.

Album Cover Ray Charles Genius Loves Company Comapny

And after 162 reviews, I’ve found an album that genuinely pisses me off.  Several CDs have disappointed me with substandard songs, poor recording quality, or just shattered memories.  Others have bored me.  This one actually makes me angry.

Here we find supposed legend Ray hooking up with a succession of collaborators to duet on alleged classics from the much vaunted American Songbook

Artists such as Johnny Cash have sought out challenging tunes and off-kilter alliances. Charles has simply grabbed the ‘usual suspects’ (Norah Jones, Elton John, Michael McDonald, Willie Nelson). 

The result is nauseating.  One muzak reworking after another.  Every cliche gets thrown into the mix. This is the album I’ve most wanted to ‘skip track’ through.

There is so little to like on here.  His number with B.B.King is almost palatable. 

But, this is pretty much everything that is wrong with adult-oriented, self-reverential, industry-grandising corporate music.  There is no soul, no heart, no sincerity to all this.  Take it away please.

Scarily (but not surprisingly) this last-ever release from Charles picked up a wheelbarrow load of Grammys – a sad indictment of all I lambasted in the preceding paragraph.

File under: Worse than Joanie Loves Chachi

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2 responses to “163. Ray Charles – “Genius Loves Company”

  1. Catherine here… I feel as if enough provocative comments have been made recently to justify my logging in here finally. I was going to try and defend this purchase, but to be honest I think it was just an impulse buy. I rarely listen to it, which makes me think I long ago formed the view that it was drivel. The bigger question Andre, is when are we going to start discarding these crap albums?

  2. Frank Sinatra called him “The only genius in our business” and that obviously wasn’t a kind of exaggeration. Here I’ve tried to collect all notable tributes paid to Ray Charles by peers:

    http://www.tributespaid.com/category/r/ray-charles

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