Jim Brickman

My Romance: An Evening with Jim Brickman

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After four gold albums and two number one adult contemporary singles, pianist Jim Brickman released this live CD that serves as a pseudo greatest-hits collection. The problems are that the vocals are performed by different artists and not all the hits are here. Released to coincide with a PBS special, Brickman is joined by Olivia Newton-John (who fills in for Martina McBride on Valentine and who co-wrote "Change of Heart" with him), Donny Osmond (who fills in for Michael W. Smith on "Love of My Life"), saxophonist Dave Koz, keyboardist David Benoit, violinist Tracy Scott Silverman, and longtime Brickman collaborator, singer Anne Cochran. Brickman's vocal-accompanied ballads are certainly competent for the A/C field, but with maudlin, sophomoric lyrics like "You are the half that made me whole/you are the anchor of my soul" (in The Love I Found in You on which he performs vocals and sounds eerily like Michael W. Smith), it's clear that his real strengths are his instrumentals. Though they lack the melodramatic pizzazz of some of the best new age music, that understatement is valued, and they are mostly evocative and always pretty, with "Rocket to the Moon" and "Freedom" being standouts.

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