Album Review: The Living Room Tour by Carole King

Album Name: The Living Room Tour
Artist: Carole King
Year/Label: 2005 / Rockingale Records

[Buy at Amazon]

Review by Amy Lotsberg Producer of Collected Sounds

Well, I have to begin by saying that I have a soft spot in my heart for Carole King. My very first favorite song was one of hers. I was about 6 years old and I had no idea what the song was about, but I was damn near loopy for the song, “Too Late Baby”. So I guess you could say that this site might not even be here if not for Carole King. I mean, what if my first favorite song that year was instead, The Rolling Stones’ “Brown Sugar” (also #1 that year)? This might be a very different site.

Anyway, I was very happy to get this CD for review. I looked at the back and thought, oh, I’m not going to know most these songs. But, though there were a few new to me, I knew most of them. Just had no idea they were Carole King songs. Who knew she co-wrote, the Monkees’ hit, “Pleasant Valley Sunday”? Not me!

She begins this CD with a song called “Welcome To My Living Room” which is a great opener. She welcomes us in and tells us what the evening will be like. Since I host house concerts in my living room, this song is very special to me. It’s all about exactly what I am trying to do with my little music series…get people together to just sit back, relax and enjoy an evening of intimate storytelling and great music. Later in the recoding she says she has recently done some house concerts…huh? Sigh.

The rest of the CD is just as lovely. She’s written some fabulous songs and they sound just great recorded live, with just the artist and minimal orchestration (with the occasional duet). Comfortable, intimate and homey.

The only thing I would change about it is that I am not a fan of the medley. It sounds so cheesy to me even when it’s fantastic songs, sung by a great artist. Disc one ends with a medley of great songs, but the way they’re mooshed together and the way the blend into one another reminds me of a musical scene from “Waiting For Guffman” (especially the piano chord changes between songs). But I’ll let it go because her chatter is entertaining. I’d probably dig it live.

The packaging is wonderful too. With a lyric booklet and classy photographs of the still gorgeous Carole King. I can only hope I look half that good at 62. She looks 30. Yes, I’m gushing, I can’t help it. She’s a true artist, and icon.

If you’re already a fan of the amazing Ms. King you will certainly cherish this collection. If you are new to her music (and…have you been living under a rock? Or maybe you’re just under 30?) then this recording will show you what it’s all about. Carole King is the real deal and this is a must have recording.

This is where I usually pick out the best songs, but in this case, that would just be silly. They’re all great.

Posted on July 22, 2005

Track Listing
1. Welcome To My Living Room
2. Peace In The Valley
3. Love Makes The World
4. Now And Forever
5. Where You Lead I Will Follow (with Louise Goffin)
6. Lay Down My Life
7. Jazzman
8. Smackwater Jack
9. Wishful Thinking
10. Medley: Take Good Care of My Baby / It Might as Well Rain Until September/ Go Away Little Girl / I’m Into Something Good / Hey Girl / Once Fine Day / Will You Love Me Tomorow
…………………………..

Disc 2
1. Loving You Forever (with Gary Burr)
2. It’s Too Late
3. So Far Away
4. Sweet Seasons
5. Chains
6. Pleasant Valley Sunday
7. Being At War With Each Other
8. I Feel The Earth Move
9. (You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman
10. You’ve Got A Friend

[Carole King Official Site]

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