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Michael Bolton - The Voice Of America

The Voice Of America

Lights, camera, action. Legendary American singer Michael Bolton releases his new album "Songs of Cinema." The record includes brand new recordings of songs from iconic films such as "The Body Guard", "Casablanca", "Stand by Me", "Risky Business" and "The Wizard of Oz" among others.

Michael Bolton is a multiple Grammy Award-winning Singer, Songwriter and Social Activist, who has sold more than 65 million records worldwide. Bolton remains committed to humanitarian causes, especially through the Michael Bolton Charities, now in its 24th year. In recognition of his artistic achievements, Michael won 2 Grammys for Best Pop Male Vocal Performance (nominated four times), 6 American Music Awards, and a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. As a songwriter, he has earned over 24 BMI & ASCAP Awards, including Songwriter of the Year, 9 Million-Air awards, and the Hitmakers Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame. To date, Michael has seen 8 studio albums rank in the Top Ten, with 9 #1 singles. He is launching his 27th album, Songs of Cinema, a tribute to beloved songs from the world’s most iconic films. Bolton has written with some of the greatest and most diverse talent of our time, including Bob Dylan, Paul Stanley, Lady Gaga, Diane Warren, and David Foster. Bolton's songs have been recorded by the likes of KISS, Kanye West, Jay Z, Barbra Streisand, Cher, and Marc Anthony.

Continuing to tour the world each year, Michael has performed with legacies such as Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, Jose Carreras, Renee Fleming and BB King. Michael became a viral sensation in The Lonely Island’s Emmy nominated video, “Captain Jack Sparrow” that launched on Saturday Night Live and has racked up over 160 million views on YouTube. Bolton continued his comedic appearances in several episodes of CBS’s hit series Two and a half Men, the hit Fox network show Glee, HBO’s hit series Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, and has ongoing campaigns with American Greetings. Michael’s songs and performances have been featured in numerous television and film soundtracks, including the Oscar-nominated theme song “Go the Distance” from Walt Disney’s blockbuster animated film Hercules and the recent Russell Crowe film Fathers & Daughters. He also executive produced the documentary Terror at Home addressing Domestic Violence in America, and was Emmy-nominated for writing the title song “Tears of The Angels”. Michael has also completed a feature-length documentary, Gotta Keep Dreamin about the 21st Century Renaissance of Detroit.

List of songs.-

“When a Man Loves a Woman,” from When a Man Loves a Woman

The first time Michael did a version of this song on an album was in 1991, when he released "Time, Love & Tenderness". It gave him his second Grammy award in 1992 and he always plays it live, appearing in the middle of the audience and finishing the song on the stage. It is a "Bolton classic", but Percy Sledge was who made it famous, although he didn't either write it. One could think that it is difficult to make something new with this theme, to make it new or version it once again. This new mixture is not like the 1991 one, either like the concerts version. It has nice points and background vocal arrangements quite cool.

“Stand by Me,” from Stand by Me

This song has always been very boring and depressing for me. However, it is one of my favorites from "Songs of Cinema". Vocal and sound arrangements sound fresh, optimistic, new. Guitars become very important and it has appeared as a full surprise.

“I’ve Got a Woman,” from Ray

I like the tune Michael uses to sing this one. It is written by his first big idol, Ray Charles. It has a crazy rhythm, lyrics are a bit shocking but it is full of quality. A great choice to perform live. New guitars "leadership" and an impressive saxophone solo by Jason Peterson DeLaire.

“I Will Always Love You (feat. Dolly Parton),” from The Bodyguard

A great satisfaction. Nobody can record this song like Whitney Houston, but Michael and Dolly Parton have put so much love in this performance. It sounds completely different to Houston's version and I love it. It is not simply "more of the same", no matter that the title is so well known worldwide. It sounds completely new and very beautiful.

“Old Time Rock and Roll,” from Risky Business

My favorite from the album "Songs of Cinema". Very quick rhythms with guitars leadership once again. The message of the song is also very honest and Walter Afanasieff's arrangements, with Michael's own are neally surprising. Famous producer's talent is well perceived. He worked with Michael many times in the past.

“I Heard it Through the Grapevine,” from The Big Chill

This one doesn't appeal much to me. It is well performed and it has good arrangements, but I don't feel it as close as most on this record. Lyrics are quite simple, but it is indeed a quite charismatic theme in the world of movies, although others are much more.

“Cupid,” from Michael Bolton’s Big Sexy Valentine’s Day Special

I had never listened to this song. It is funny the desire of asking Cupid to direct his arrows to the heart of our loved one, to get his favor. It does not have a crazy rhythm, because it is slower. It is quite good.


“Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” from The Wizard of Oz

I would say this one has the same vocal parts performed by Michael in his "Gems" album, where he included this song with Paula Fernandes. Those recorded parts by Paula have been now sung again by Bolton. It is the one I like the less on the album; it is repeated and it is too bland.

“As Time Goes By,” from Casablanca

A magic classic, performed by a maestro. It is one of the "must have" for this album. New saxophone solo perfectly performed by Jason Peterson DeLaire.

“Jack Sparrow,” from The Lonely Island SNL digital video short

A very curious final addition to the album.

This album has been different from the very beginning. Michael, through Pledge Music, began a project and allowed his fans to participate in it. Since day one until the end. He asked for suggestions, ideas, and he quickly appeared with the intention of making a movie songs record, as he considers himself a devoted cinephile. Surely among those suggestions he will find many more ideas for upcoming works.

Michael Bolton's vocal performance, immeasurable.


My review:

The show was simply magic, amazing. With a sound sooo good, perfect performances by both artists and they were close to the audience and very kind. The venue, Coliseu Do Porto, offered a perfect sound. It was completely full of people and it was perfectly air-conditioned. The doors opened at 8 pm, one hour before the beginning of the show. Everything was perfect and they allowed everyone to take as many photos as they wanted.

There was a merchandise stand for Michael Bolton with the cd "Gems" autographed, a tour book for 2010-2011, another book about the making of "Gems", different types of t-shirts (one of them with concert dates from last year) and bags. Kenny had another table with his two types of live cds, but it was empty at the end of the show.

Kenny performed from 9 pm -completely punctual- to 10 pm:

- Sade (in the middle of the audience)

- Silhouette

- Forever In Love

- Theme from Dying Young

- Innocence (for a girl and his grandmother. They won the saxophone Kenny gave away)

- Havana

- My Heart Will Go On

- Saxo Loco

- Rhythm and Romance

- Georgia on My Mind (with Michael Bolton)

- There was a fantastic moment with Kenny's band performing alone, being the main "character" Ron Powell, his percussionist, who made the audience laugh a lot and earn their hearts quickly. Everybody was on their feet when he finished his fantastic performance.Michael and Rita Guerra

Kenny was so gracious and fun. He spoke many words in Portuguese, thinking like a baby boy before saying each phrase. He said it was a pleasure for them to be in Portugal, he thanked the audience for coming, he hoped the show would like them... And after a while he asked if he could speak English again!. He also talked to us about the saxophones line he has created. He plays the same one since he was a kid, but he has created these ones and he was happy to give away one to the winner of the poll. He would play with that saxophone and after that the owner could take it from his mouth and take it home. He even said that people who had no tickets to participate in the contest could go to the hall and get them "just to not getting too bored while Michael played" :)

He was very elegant dressed, with a black suit which fitted as a glove, and a white shirt with black shoes. He is very thin and  however his presence fills the stage completely. He would appear onstage at the end of the show with a pair of dark jeans and the same jacket, to perform with Bolton "Georgia On My Mind".

He had appeared in the hall of the venue before the show. Everyone who would buy a cd (special cds recorded live, not the common ones) would get it autographed by Kenny and could shake his hand. I did it and it was magical!!!.

In Kenny's performance I have to complain because for being the keyboards placed on the piano, I couldn't see Robert Damper during almost the whole show. He is a very relevant figure for Kenny, personally and professionally, and I think he should be sitting in a different way.

While the staff changed everything onstage, we waited for almost 45 minutes for Michael Bolton's performance to begin. Kenny had been playing from 9 pm until 10 pm. Michael began at 11:50 pm. He began with "Love Is Everything" (after the "Go The Distance" introduction). Then he sang:

- To Love Somebody

- (Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay

- Summertime

- Somewhere Over The Rainbow (with Portuguese singer Rita Guerra)

- To Make You Feel My Love (with Rita Guerra)

- How Am I Supposed To Live Without You (with Rita Guerra)

- When A Man Loves A Woman

- How Can We Be Lovers

- Summertime

- Steel Bars

- Nessun Dorma

- Said I Loved You... But I Lied

- Sweet Home Chicago

- Georgia On My Mind (with Kenny G)

- Pride (In The Name Of Love)

- Outro (Go The Distance)

- They Can't Take That Away From Me (band solo)

After performing "When A Man Loves A Woman" in the middle of the audience, I was lucky enough because Michael went back to the stage walking in front of me and he shook my hand!!!!!!!!!.

Michael appeared wearing a suit jacket with his shining pin, a black shirt and jeans. Then he changed the jeans for a pair of suit trousers to perform several songs, "Nessun Dorma" among them.

Later, after the moment of Michael Lington (his saxophonist) performance of his own music, Michael came back with his jeans again and a blue t-shirt for the end of the show. There was a door between the audience and the stage, but, although we could not get on our feet close to the stage, everybody was standing while Michael  performed his final song "Pride".

Michael thanked everyone for being there. He, like Kenny G, spoke about the fantastic sound of the venue, and he also encouraged everybody to make as much noise as they could. He also said, at the end of the show, that performing again with Kenny around the world was unbelievable, because he was the maximum. He said he was ashamed of saying it, but that they had performed together for 24 years. He also spoke positively about Kenny's band members, saying that they are amazing and very talented musicians. It was a nice detail that, when Michael and his band greeted the audience, Michael asked Kenny to stay with them and be a part of the line. Michael and his band also got all the audience to stand up and applaud strongly.

Michael's voice was perfect, as always. It was 00.30 when it finished, since 9 pm. Not too bad!!!.


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