Jim Brickman’s Never Alone is another one of his inventive extrapolations of his catalog, re-recording some of his best-known tunes with some of the industry’s best-known vocalists. One need go no further than the title track with up-and-coming contemporary country sensations Lady Antebellum. The album kicks off with it, featuring the country group and its female lead vocalist, Hilary Scott. The original version appeared on Brickman’s 2007 holiday collection, Homecoming, as an instrumental. This version has its arrangement changed slightly, and while it was a transcendent closer on the aforementioned album, it’s in a whole different league with the vocal trio adding its contribution to this version: it works as much as a country single as it does a contemporary pop number. The title track from Escape is performed here with Marc Antoine on vocals, and “To Hear You Say You Love Me” is performed in duet with Jake Simpson. Carnie Wilson helps out on "A Mother’s Prayer” as well. The vocal tracks are all intercut with instrumentals that appeared on Brickman’s past albums from “Timeless” and “Gathering” to “Glory” and “American Dreams,” these tracks merely acting as bridges to the vocal cuts meant to sell the album. The real prize here is the “bonus track,” a live recording of "My Angel" from Homecoming with the late Gerald LeVert. On Homecoming it turned out to be LeVert's last studio recording; the live performance of it, however, blows the previous version away with its raw emotion. And while the title track here will indeed score the hit, "My Angel" is the album’s true treasure. Included in the package is a bonus DVD that includes the music video for the song "Never Alone" and a documentary on the making of the album. For the listener, and even the hardcore Brickman fan, however, there is question at the end of this record: when will he finally release an album of all new material?
Never Alone Review
by Thom Jurek
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2
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