Show and Tell Hawai'i

CD review: In Brickman’s world, everything is ‘Beautiful’

October 23rd, 2009

In the musical “Cabaret,” the emcee says “Life is beautiful.” He must have been thinking of Jim Brickman’s eloquent “Beautiful World” CD, an armoire of amour.
The pianist-composer’s drawers and shelves are jammed with feel-food, feel-happy, feel-romantic tunes — mostly originals from his pen, like the title song with Adam Crossley etching out the lovenotes, or the Parisian chanson “Romance Sur La Seine.” But unlike Old Mother Hubbard's, his cupboard’s never bare.
“Covers” like Burt Bacharach’s “What the World Needs Now Is Love” assembles guests with reassuring vigor, thanks to Jon Secada, Anne Cochran, Mark Masro, Melinda Doolittle and Orla Fallon, culled from Brickman’s PBS special. Secada soars with Brickman on another revival, “What a Wonderful World,” which could be a mini self-eval of this CD.
His travels add to the love landscape; shut your eyes and you feel a coolness and solitude on “Fallen Snow,” hear the babble of the flowing water on “River’s Edge,” experience ethereal calm on “Rainbow Sky.” And “Island Paradise” has Kaua‘i inspiration: Brickman was awed by the Garden Island when he composed this; focus and you can you live it.
No wonder Brickman reigns as American’s most charted Adult Contemporary Artist. In his wide, wonderful world, everything is beautiful.

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