CD Review: Caro Emerald presents Drum Rolls and Heartbreaks


Caro Emerald Presents Drum Rolls and Heartbreaks
(Grand Mono Dramatico/ Universal. CD Review by Sebastian Scotney)

To misquote Rene Magritte, this is not a Caro Emerald album. The CD describes itself as "The music that inspired Caro Emerald and her producers to make Deleted Scenes From the Cutting Room Floor."

That 2010 album by the 31- year old Amsterdam-born singer Caro Emerald (real name Caroline Esmeralda van der Leeuw) reached the Top 10  in the UK, Emerald is due to be touring, so there is an obvious pretext for releasing the album. But... what is the album itself? It is a double CD presenting an unashamedly nostalgic collection of popular music, thirty-three tracks originally released from the 1940's to 1960's, involving some well-known tracks and some less familiar material. Plus a final "bonus track":  Caro Emerald singing Dream a Little Dream - with the mastering engineer's valedictory conceit: some added-in 78rpm surface noise at the beginning and the end.

The album may be a convenient source for familiar versions - Dean Martin singing Sway or Fats Waller's Your Feet's Too Big, or Della Reese's Why Don't you Do Right, Eartha Kitt's My Heart Belongs to Daddy. There will probably not be many (any?) undiscovered truffles for the specialist here. Doris Day's and the Andrews Sisters' appearances seem almost mandatory in this kind of collection. Yodel Polka? I guess you have to live through it - once...An appealing version of One Night in Brazil by the Enric Madriguera Orchestra - with an unnamed vocalist (Patricia Gilmore?) and with no date given for the recording, certainly had its charm. And I'm encouraged to seek out more recordings by the Mexican bandleader Luis Alcaraz.  Sarah Vaughan singing Whatever Lola Wants is almost surreal. The documentation about the tracks was disappointingly thin. But the album is a very good advertisement indeed for the mastering skills of Darius van Helfteren of the Amsterdam Mastering Company, which also produced the 2010 album.

Drum Rolls and Heartbreaks has a UK release date of 22nd October.
Full Track Listing.
Caro Emerald will be on tour in the UK in March 2013.

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