Although the title The Very Best Of... would seem to signify that this is a compilation, this CD is handicapped by a total, and aggravating, absence of recording dates or data. Since 11 Edelman albums are listed in a discography in the liner notes, and since all 12 of the tracks on The Very Best Of... have similar-sounding solo piano accompaniment, it seems reasonable to guess that this isn't a compilation, but a group of tracks recorded specifically for one album release. Whatever the real deal is, it's timid, lukewarm sentimentalism, rather like hearing unplugged versions of some of the less memorable fodder clogging up the play lists of adult contemporary radio stations. Most of the singers you hear on such stations, though, have much better voices than Edelman, whose high, thin, and nervous-sounding tones don't do anything to better his modest compositions' attributes. It's more aligned with mainstream pop composers like Burt Bacharach, or non-rock lounge-y singer/songwriters like Dave Frishberg and Marvin Hamlisch, than it is with the rock and pop singer/songwriters of Edelman's generation, with influences from Tin Pan Alley, jazz, and classical music coloring his work.
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AllMusic Review by Richie Unterberger