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Roger Whittaker

Awakening

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Awakening, "the first totally original Whittaker album in over seven years," as a sticker on the shrink wrap proclaims, is nothing if not an ambitious project for 63-year-old Roger Whittaker. The 20-track, 65-minute collection of "all new material" (as the sticker adds) is a concept album put together by Whittaker with songwriter/producer Oliver Statz and songwriter Joachim Horn-Bernges (a trio credited on 12 songs) that attempts to portray the "seasons of life," that is, to divide the average life into four phases, delineated as spring, summer, autumn, and winter. At the beginning of each section, Whittaker weighs in with a verse of the self-written "I Awoke," introducing the major elements of that part of the life cycle, then four appropriate songs follow. The "Spring" section is full of songs of romantic disappointment; "Summer" brings true love (and with it, two covers done as duets, Dennis Scott and Paul Rolnick's "Shoot for the Moon," sung with Lene Siel, and Maury Yeston's "Still" from the Broadway musical Titanic, sung with Kirstin Campbell); "Autumn" introduces love of family and children (including a duet with Rita McNeil on "Sing Away Your Tears," accompanied by the Men of the Deeps, "North America's Only Coal Miners' Choir"); and "Winter" allows the now aging singer to wax philosophical, reflective, and political (the last in a song pointedly called "War No More"). Whittaker cannot be accused of slacking in his return to full-length record-making, but the material, which is pleasant but pedestrian, does not live up to the pretensions of the concept. The record's chief attribute is the warm conviction with which Whittaker delivers his vocals, and his voice keeps things listenable, even in the face of cheery choirs and rote arrangements. But he is better in giving his interpretations of pop standards and some of his own more heartfelt compositions than on this overreaching pop cantata.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 1:06 SpotifyAmazon
2 3:56 SpotifyAmazon
3 4:24 SpotifyAmazon
4 3:47 SpotifyAmazon
5 4:00 SpotifyAmazon
6 1:07 SpotifyAmazon
7
feat: Lene Siel
4:19 SpotifyAmazon
8 3:59 SpotifyAmazon
9 3:29 SpotifyAmazon
10 2:38 SpotifyAmazon
11 1:07 SpotifyAmazon
12 3:52 SpotifyAmazon
13 3:48 SpotifyAmazon
14 4:34 SpotifyAmazon
15 3:30 SpotifyAmazon
16 1:07 SpotifyAmazon
17 3:49 SpotifyAmazon
18 3:22 SpotifyAmazon
19 4:28 SpotifyAmazon
20 3:13 SpotifyAmazon
blue highlight denotes track pick