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Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music

Ray Charles

1962

Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music

Album Summary

Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music is a studio album by American singer and pianist Ray Charles. It was recorded in February 1962 at Capitol Studios in New York City and United Western Recorders in Hollywood, and released in April of that year by ABC-Paramount Records. The album departed further stylistically from the rhythm and blues music Charles had recorded for Atlantic Records in the 1950s. It featured country, folk, and Western music standards reworked by Charles in popular song forms of the time, including R&B, pop, and jazz. Charles produced the album with Sid Feller, who helped the singer select songs to record, and performed alongside saxophonist Hank Crawford, a string section conducted by Marty Paich, and a big band arranged by Gil Fuller and Gerald Wilson. Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music was an immediate critical and commercial success. The album and its four hit singles brought Charles greater mainstream notice and recognition in the pop market, as well as airplay on both R&B and country radio stations. The album and its lead single, "I Can't Stop Loving You", were both certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America in 1962, as each record had sold at least 500,000 copies in the United States. The album's integration of soul and country challenged racial barriers in popular music at the height of the Civil Rights Movement. In the process of recording the album, Charles became one of the first African-American musicians to exercise complete artistic control over his own recording career. In retrospect, it has been considered by critics as his best studio record and a landmark recording in American music. According to Robert Christgau, the album "transfigured pop, prefigured soul, and defined modern country & western music." It has been called one of the greatest albums of all time by publications such as Rolling Stone and Time.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.49

Votes

5160

Genres

  • Soul
  • Blues
  • Jazz
Reviews
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Fri Jul 16 2021
4

When I was much younger, I remember encountering an album entitled "The Shape of Punk to Come" by Refused and thinking, "Boy, they sure think a lot of themselves. That might be the ballsiest album title I've ever heard." Well, it turns out Ray Charles beat them to it. A black man in '62 claiming he's got the key to modern Country & Western was all balls. He backs it up with this album, though. It's real damn good. It's clearly country but also clearly not. The combination of styles coupled with his clear appreciation for the source material make it really hard to deny how damn good the album is. I mean, I don't even like country and I'm digging this record. I can see why it has been hailed as not just a great album but for breaking down racial walls in the music industry.

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Mon Apr 19 2021
4

Damn awesome execution of this idea. Ray Charles voice is timeless, and though some of the strings and background vocals are a bit overdone, the blues approach to country/western is very cool.

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Mon May 24 2021
5

The upbeat songs make me want to dance, and the slower ones have such an old school Disney vibe between the strings and the choir. Really into this. And the cultural importance of the album truly solidified the 5 for me

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Thu Feb 17 2022
5

The incredible thing about this album is the fact that you cannot tell that these songs were originally country songs. I'm not sure if it's intended, but this album is a testament to the fact that genre is something to be transcended. People often define their musical tastes by genre, and this album subverts that assumption completely. As someone who enjoys country music, jazz, and R&B, this album is a celebration of music period. This album is very deserving of the praise it gets.

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Thu Jun 10 2021
4

We get these songs produced so slickly, with such stereotypically grand string and horn arrangements, that the connection to the titular country and western music is subtle. I enjoyed the sharing of vocal duties at points. If it weren't for the title and historical context, I wouldn't have picked up on the source of the material until You Are My Sunshine. Charles's voice is the standout stylistic feature as he blends perfectly with the production and delivers the lyrics comfortably.

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Thu Aug 26 2021
3

I get the premise of the album and appreciate its importance to the genre. It's also always a pleasure to listen to Ray Charles. That said, this album is very much of another time and some listeners will find it drags, especially in the middle. The best part about the album is Charles himself. His vocals are perfect as is his piano playing. Unfortunately, the big band horn and string arrangements and old backup vocals feel more than a little dated. I enjoyed the back end of the album best, like from "It Makes No Difference Now" to the end. "Careless Love" and "You Win Again" are flawless and "I Can't Stop Loving You" is a classic. Fave songs: You Win Again, Careless Love, You Don't Know Me

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Sat May 22 2021
5

So much orchestra. More of this in the world please

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Sat May 15 2021
5

One of the best albums of all time. Period.

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Sat Jun 12 2021
5

genius, pure & Simple

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Wed Jun 02 2021
5

Iconic and nothing less.

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Sun May 23 2021
5

Very nice

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Wed Sep 01 2021
5

I love stuff like this. Always been a big fan of the singers of the 50s and 60s. Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole. This might just be another 5 for me. It gets a little samey, especially in terms of lyrics, after the 1 hour-mark, but the thing is that it's good music so it doesen't really matter.

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Mon Sep 27 2021
5

Beautiful songs, beautiful voice, beautiful arrangements!

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Wed Oct 06 2021
5

Pretty great. Didn't get a chance to listen to all of it, but will definitely go back.

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Tue Oct 26 2021
5

One of the great cross genre records

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Sun Nov 07 2021
5

10/10 Ray Charles is the GOAT it had such a fun, warm sound hearing those songs bring such a calming but happy atmosphere

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Tue Nov 09 2021
5

love Ray Charles!

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Thu Nov 25 2021
5

So, so good.

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Mon Dec 27 2021
5

GOAT

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Sun Jan 30 2022
5

Wow! What can I say?! It’s Ray Charles! Music doesn’t get any better than this! An absolute gem!

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Thu Feb 17 2022
5

So so soulful yet precise. True synthesis of great American art forms.

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Sat Mar 05 2022
5

Great album, with great sounds and incredible balades

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Fri Mar 11 2022
5

Delicious

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Wed Apr 27 2022
5

I just knew I was going to like a guy when it he played this album on vinyl the first time I went over to his house. Sigh, Ray Charles makes everything good, better.

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Tue May 31 2022
5

man i just love a ray charles album, this was really nice

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Wed Jun 01 2022
5

Ray Charles is his own genre. He saw no barriers.

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Mon Jun 06 2022
5

Ray Charles 18th overall album featuring country, folk and western music standards reworked in popular song forms - R&B, pop and jazz. This album got lots of airplay on both R&B and country music stations. Ray said he didn't see a lot of difference in blues and country music. Given a lot artistic freedom the idea came to do this album which is absolutely incredible. His A&R man, Ray Feller went through 250 country songs to pick from. The songs are mostly love and heartbreak ballads as you would expect. The backing music are strings, horns, Ray's piano and voice and great backing vocals. Every song on this album is worth listening to. He creates an extremely unique style. I would like to go back and compare the original country version to Ray's. Two standout tracks are both near the end. What a great vocal delivery on "Careless Love." His voice just soars with the strings in the background. "I Can't Stop Loving You" is a classic example to the point that there really isn't much difference between blues and country. This song fits both...just great backing vocals and probably my favorite Ray Charles song. This was an historically important album crossing racial borders in a very racially-charged time. A timeless performance and album.

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Sat Jun 25 2022
5

By some quirk, yesterday Ray Charles album was followed by another Ray Charles album today - and I wasn’t disappointed. More beautiful arrangements, singing and playing; evocative of a certain era; charming, delightful and satisfying. These are recordings of the highest quality from a wonderfully talented artist.

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Mon Jul 25 2022
5

Not much to say, no faults, all of his genius encapsulated.

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Mon Aug 08 2022
5

Brilliance

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Thu Aug 18 2022
5

Classic Oldies

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Fri Aug 19 2022
5

Many Classics, Is That Careless Love An Interpolation Of Silent Night?

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Mon Aug 22 2022
5

I'm stunned that the average review isn't higher. Maybe it's a recency bias. This album is exactly why the "1001 albums" project exists. This is a groundbreaking and culturally significant album, that also happens to be pretty darn good. Is it my favorite Ray Charles album? No. Did it have more impact on the course of American and World music than any other Ray Charles album ... and really most any album? Absolutely.

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Wed Aug 31 2022
5

Big fan of 60s era of music. Ray Charles does some good stuff.

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Thu Sep 08 2022
5

Album number 6 I have on vinyl! I can’t begin to express how much I love this album. It was incredibly revolutionary and progressive for the time, it tore down barriers, and it’s probably Ray’s best or second best album. Holy shit it’s such a joy to listen to. While some of the songs aren’t as perfect as “Bye Bye Love”, “You Don’t Know Me”, or “You Win Again”, I enjoy listening to every single one of them. No filler or bloat whatsoever. If you don’t like this album, I don’t even know what to say to you. I should note that I’m only writing about Volume 1 here, but Volume 2 is equally perfect (if not better).

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Wed Sep 14 2022
5

Wow. What a once in a generation talent. The way he rewrote/reworked/restyled these standards was so good, quite often amazing..

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Tue Sep 27 2022
5

I enjoyed every minute of this album. Split between jazzy big band arrangements for most of the quicker tempo songs and orchestral arrangements for the ballads the album swings effortlessly from one to the other. Underpinning it all is Charles' soulful singing that elevates each song and makes these country classics his own. It's not my go to genre especially the string arranged compositions, but tht did not get in the way of my enjoyment of the album. An album that should be heard by anyone that loves music. 5 stars.

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Sat Oct 08 2022
5

He's such a natural musician. Even though some of the elements are overdone when listened with today's ear, it does not detract from the greatness of this album.

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Tue Oct 18 2022
5

Hey this ray guy is pretty good

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Tue Oct 18 2022
5

Albumi ei hyppelehdi ja tunnelmaa ylläpidetään HYVIN. Tuntuu ettei olisi kotona kun tätä kuuntelee. Vaarana on että kuuntelee liian kovalla koska dynamiikkaa LÖYTYY, sopii toki taustallekkin hiljasemmalla soitettavaksi... Mustat miehet tulivat tutummaksi albumin avulla,, en ole nähnyt livenä... kuullu nyt.... en voi kyllä vielä sanoa,,,,, uskon kun näen...... tai tulee auringonpimennys.. heheh... sillon kaikki mustiksi muuttupi.. valkohipiäinenkin.... meikäläinen,,,,kin,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, heh

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Mon Oct 24 2022
5

Now this is real music

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Tue Nov 01 2022
5

amazing. 5/5

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Wed Nov 16 2022
5

This was really good! I don't think I would have been able to tell that these were covers of country songs if it wasn't right there in the title, and while they may sound a bit dated for 1960s standards, I have a massive soft spot for a good big band. Favourite: Don't Tell Me Your Troubles

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Thu Nov 17 2022
5

Ray Charles. He does what he wants. And it's always brilliant.

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Fri Nov 25 2022
5

Amazing love it

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Mon Nov 28 2022
5

Landmark album. It's country, but it's not. It's Soul/Big Band, but it's not. He took White music and made it Black, it's like reverse Elvis. Love it.

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Thu Dec 01 2022
5

Classic. No notes.

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Sat Dec 03 2022
5

During the recording of this album, Ray Charles became one of the few black artists in the early rock era to gain complete creative control of their music. He puts that control to phenomenal use here, interpreting folk and country standards with a blistering R&B flair.

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Thu May 13 2021
4

I knew who Ray Charles was of course, but I don't think I knew what to expect of his music. It's much jazzier (and less country than the title lead me to believe). Love the snazzy horn section.

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Mon Jun 14 2021
4

Qué disco tan más a gusto. De inicio no tenía idea de que fueran puros covers, e incluso de las rolas que identifiqué, llegué a pensar que era al revés y la versión de Ray era la original. De cualquier manera, me encantan los arreglos que hizo Ray en casi todas las canciones y quizá ya luego con más tiempo me gustaría escuchar las originales y comparar. Por otro lado, la parte que no me encanta son los arreglos de voces exageradamente melosos en algunas de las canciones.

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Mon Jun 14 2021
4

No sé si lo hizo a propósito pero hay una rola movida y una calmada intercaladas en todo el disco. Que se le puede reprochar a este señor? Darse el lujo de hacer un doble de covers y reinventarnos

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Tue Jun 29 2021
4

That was well good

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Mon Jun 14 2021
4

3.5 | Es muy posible que le pierda mucho a poder apreciar este disco debido a que casi todos son estándares principalmente de country que yo realmente no conozco (solo conocía bien Hey Good Looking). Pareciera más que fue un disco que es importante porque fue lo que le dio a Ray Charles el éxito masivo con la gente blanca tal como ya lo tenía con la gente negra (lo cual es más impresionante cuando recordamos que en ese momento seguimos enfrascados a mitad de lucha de derechos civiles en EE.UU.). Musicalmente el disco es muy bueno, bajando un poco el ritmo de lo que estaba acostumbrado casi todo el disco es de baladas, apenas con una canción con un sonido medio big band; a pesar de esto el disco no se siente cansado y la voz, el sentimiento y los arreglos son impecables. El disco obviamente es importante, las canciones muy bien hechas a pesar de que quizá soy más partidario de ese Ray Charles un poco más movido y mas... "comercial?" En algun momento decía Ray Charles que el blues y el country eran muy similares en su honestidad y en ser llanos de lenguaje y quizá hacer un disco de este tipo es un gran ejemplo de cuánta razón tenía.

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Mon May 24 2021
4

Christmas style strings. Beautiful instruments all around. And a voice that strikes so deeply. Not super substantial, but beautiful and easy to listen to.

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Thu Jul 15 2021
4

Ciezko o bardziej trafny tytul albumu, nie ma co wiecej pisac, bo wszystko co nalezy wiedziec o tej plycie jest juz zawarte na okladce

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Thu Apr 15 2021
4

Good music, great voice. The music does sound extremely old though and not all of it has aged particularly well. I enjoyed the "big sound" more swingy and soul-heavy tracks a lot more than the softer lounge-y or balladesque tracks. I won't actively listen to it again, but a good one-time experience.

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Tue Apr 06 2021
4

Short review well I wouldn’t normally chose a country and western album but Ray Charles at heart has a strong sense of being an R&B star. He is renowned for both his work in jazz and soul too so this album was a shot in the dark and the hybrid musical mastermind created a country record - but this was a success by every meaning of the word. I wouldn’t rush to listen again but you must respect this talent.

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Tue Apr 06 2021
4

Can see why it was called Modern Sounds, the big band feel, makes it bright, sharp and punchy. None of these tracks sound like Country and Western songs, so I'm assuming they are standards/classics in C&W which makes Charles reinterpretation of them so striking, he's placing a big band aesthetic over them, making them feel new and impactful. Charles has great phrasing, he can stretch and hold a note so well. Not many words in some of the lyrics, but he lets them float over the music. He also hold and bend notes so well, to fit to fill the phrasing and tempo of each song. More a fan of the uptempo numbers, but the slower ones show off the versatility of Ray’s voice/tone.

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Sat Apr 24 2021
4

THIS IS ABBA - REVIVAL

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Sat May 08 2021
4

Feels like some good old album, a banger for people that enjoy this genre. Not my style but I can appreciate the quality

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Sun Jun 27 2021
4

Yum.

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Thu May 06 2021
4

Incredibly enjoyable. I'd listened to some Ray Charles before, but the album is sonically very enjoyable - almost every song utilises backing singers in a really pleasing way!

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Wed May 19 2021
4

Really like this! Ray sounds great with a big band behind him. Great arrangements on some classic songs

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Wed Jun 23 2021
4

He's a genius. I love him. Great arrangements on some country songs. (8/10) Favourite Tracks: Careless Love, I Can't Stop Loving You, You Are My Sunshine

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Sat Aug 07 2021
4

Was a different take on Ray Charles, but I loved it nonetheless. Man was a national treasure.

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Sun Aug 15 2021
4

This is one of those albums on this list where my rating gets influenced by reading more about the album and its history, but even that didn't really change how I felt. Incredibly groundbreaking with a huge variety of genres that shine through in songs. Love the background singers/choruses, especially when they introduce the song with its title, often at the start of the song. Got a little longwinded and repetitive, enough to make this not quite a 5, but the spotify version has more songs than the original album, so not too many points off. Even with the repetitiveness, I rarely got bored Saved: Bye Bye Love, You Don’t Know Me, I Can't Stop Loving You; Oh, Lonesome Me*

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Mon Aug 16 2021
4

A really sweet, comfy album. Ray sounds amazing on this one!

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Wed Aug 18 2021
4

60's music is fantastic, and this one really delivers. It makes you feel what it wants you to feel. The orchestra was lively when it felt like it and somber when it wanted to make you feel nostalgic. My only gripe was that the songs could've been taken to more extremes - that is, the highs can be higher and the lows can be lower. Favorite track: I Love You So Much It Hurts

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Wed Aug 18 2021
4

What a fucking achievement this album was. Best track: Bye Bye Love

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Thu Aug 26 2021
4

Very enjoyable and easy listening. Nothing that stands out on this album, but solid all around.

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Thu Sep 02 2021
4

Ray Friggin Charles. Such a soulful voice. Digital remastered cleaned it up so nice.... 4 stars

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Wed Sep 08 2021
4

Lush - can hear how Amy was influenced

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Tue Sep 14 2021
4

I am a hugh Ray Charles fan so any time I have an opportunity to buy some of his music I jump at it. This two volume CD was everything I hoped for and more! The content is awsome and the quality of the CD, the case and art work was pristine. I plan to buy another one as a Christmas gift for one of my brothers who enjoys a good music CD as much as I do. Overall, the purchase of this CD was 10, I am very pleased with this purchase on all levels.

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Thu Sep 16 2021
4

Well..... The songs are little bit boring but Ray..... He is awesome. So chill

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Mon Sep 27 2021
4

Great LP! Had some of this on a charity shop cd I got recently Ray Charles greatest country and western hits…

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Thu Oct 07 2021
4

Love songs op jazz en R&B. Soms swingend en soms wiegend.

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Sat Oct 09 2021
4

Genius at work - great arrangements, fabulous band, and every vocal OWNS the song.

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Fri Oct 22 2021
4

Not my usual genres, but Ray Charles has a very smooth voice that can carry a song. Combined with smooth jazzy, country and pop instrumentals the whole collection is a friendly listen with short songs.

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Mon Oct 25 2021
4

// Favs: – Score: Light 4

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Fri Oct 29 2021
4

I feel I've undermarked this because it's an amazing album with a real crossover that paved the way for so much. But I can't help but feel Ray Charles is at his bets with blues. This whitebread album could easily be for Sinatra which I guess is the point. It opened doors and is very good. But you know he's got more in him.

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Sat Oct 30 2021
4

A near perfect dinner party album. I love the brassy big band arrangements, the lush string arrangements, not so much, but the fact that he makes it all work is a testament to his talent 4 stars

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Thu Nov 04 2021
4

An enlightening sound, though not what I’m accustomed to. Really good energy.

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Mon Nov 08 2021
4

If only we got country music like this nowadays instead of "Fancy Like"...

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Wed Nov 10 2021
4

Didn’t finish. Pretty good though

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Tue Oct 05 2021
4

great way to wind down at the end of the day, so easy to listen to

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Thu Nov 11 2021
4

Was nice!

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Fri Nov 12 2021
4

Enjoyed listening to this. Very calming bit upbeat

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Sat Nov 13 2021
4

Sunday vibes

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Sun Nov 14 2021
4

Good album, a little slow. Love Rays voice always

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Mon Nov 15 2021
4

Don't enjoy the string and choral arrangements, but his voice and piano and stunning.

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Mon Nov 15 2021
4

Sweet

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Tue Nov 16 2021
4

Gospodin 🎹😎

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Tue Nov 16 2021
4

Country drugi dan za redom. Moze ray, moze big band, daj reube daj signale. Super album, super pjesme, te ne smeta patetika u rijecima

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Wed Nov 17 2021
4

Really good listen to for a feelgood song, Ray Charles voice is pretty damn good and making me feel good

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Wed Nov 17 2021
4

I feel relaxed and happy because of ray's voice, despite the fact he's singing about losing a lover and wanting to die? I don't hear much western, but its got a healthy mix of country, swing, and blues - later note, maybe I'm thinking of the wild west genre and there was a different name for this that we either lost or changed? His voice is amazing and smooth Prime example of some of the best that the black community has brought to the table for music. Really genuine emotion in the singing I can't shake the feeling of christmas music in all of this...

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Wed Nov 17 2021
4

Ray Charles is timeless and classic. A great listen, but listening to this album in its entirety I realized most of his songs follow the same "I love you, you hurt me" motif and generally have the same sound and feel. The man definitely knew what he was about.

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Sat Dec 04 2021
4

Didn’t really think of this as country which I guess goes to show that what I dislike most about the genre are the vocals. Fun but not too engaging listen. 7/10

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Sat Dec 04 2021
4

8/10. This was quite good, a relisten might even bump up my score by one.

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Sat Dec 04 2021
4

7/10 enjoyable but nothing special

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Sat Dec 11 2021
4

Even though this isn’t the kind of music I normally listen to, I loved it! Especially the interesting arrangements for songs that I knew from elsewhere (I guess these are the country and western music songs the title refers to?). I’ll add that It’s gems such as this, about which existence I formerly wasn’t aware of, that brought me here. Pity these are so rare.

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Tue Dec 14 2021
4

Great

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Tue Dec 21 2021
4

ulubione you don't know me I love you so much it hurts just a little lovin' (will go a long way)

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Tue Dec 28 2021
4

so good.

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Thu Dec 30 2021
4

Pretty great

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Sat Jan 01 2022
4

8/10

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Fri Jan 07 2022
4

The songs seems sort of dated now but Ray Charles really knocks them out of the park anyway.

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Tue Jan 11 2022
4

This was a very nice album honestly. Wouldn't say many recognized hits though, save maybe for "I Can't Stop Loving You". 7/10.

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Sat Jan 29 2022
4

This is more poppy. More 50s pop, early 60s pop, right before the Beatles pop. Maybe it's this R&B kinda guy doing late 50s/early 60s pop music. This blind pianist with a soulful voice doing non-soulful versions of soulful country songs. It works.

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Mon Jan 31 2022
4

За ощущение, будто посмотрел "Том и Джерри", поставлю 4 звёздочки. Как фон для лакшери застолья пойдёт.

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Tue Feb 01 2022
4

Reminded me of times singing with my mum

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Tue Feb 01 2022
4

Very good.

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Tue Feb 01 2022
4

Classic Ray Charles. His voice is so emotive, and when he lets loose on the piano his note choice is immaculate. Probably the greatest album of this kind of tune.

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Thu Feb 03 2022
4

Innovative for the time, still sublime for any time, Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music provided a blueprint that showcased that it was okay for black musicians to dip their toes in other facets of music, music that was (and, in some cases, still is) closed to them. And, as always, Ray Charles displays magnificent singing efforts towards some of the most melancholic material lain upon him and he does them justice. A recommended album for those who want to experience not just the brilliance of Ray but the often neglected stories in the songs.

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Fri Feb 04 2022
4

Doesn't this feel very distant from the modern renderings of country music, be it pop, outlaw or whatever stripe you care to name. Yet despite the lush arrangements and lack of shorthand country signifiers, this is a bold and interesting take on the genre. 'I Can't Stop Loving You' and 'Careless Love' are stupendous. Country music in a big band format? Works for me - especially when interpreted by Charles. Just a guy I love to hear sing!

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Sat Feb 12 2022
4

For me, this album highlighted the limitations of a one-day challenge and of a lot of online music writing, in which context is reduced to the decade of release, the instrumentation and the country of origin. I don't think that even the very best music can fully transcend the context in which it was made. I could say I liked it, but I don't think that's any more worthwhile than listicles that rank the Holy Bible as a Britpop album, or the 1001 Album Club podcast, which I gave up on after half an episode because they described Ian Dury as "British whimsy bullshit" that reminded them of a "more up-tempo Syd Barrett." This has sent me down a bit of a rabbit-hole, thinking about which aspects of culture we pass on, which we forget and why. I might like it even more if I understood it better, but I won't understand it without wider reading and listening into the social context, Ray's career to date and contemporary country, and I'm not sure I like it enough to make that commitment. But that's no criticism of Ray Charles; it's a ridiculously high bar for anyone to vault, and I appreciate there must be very good reasons that this music has lasted and will continue to last better than the vast majority of stuff I love.

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Mon Feb 21 2022
4

Really enjoyed this.

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Thu Feb 24 2022
4

I have always known of Ray Charles, as a legend and an icon of soul and other genres from the 50s onwards. When i hear his name i think of the Blues Brothers movie - i guess thats when i first heard of him. i didnt know this album. have enjoyed listening to it. When i started i assumed it was from the 1950s, but as it turns out it was 1962, which i guess means the music would have probably sounded like a collection if old classics. By a guy who has his own style and mood, it is not really my thing, kind of an old fashioned hollywood vibe. i guess to appreciate it it should be considered in its historical context, early 60s, civil rights movement era, yet mainly “ white” music by a pioneerning black blues / soul singer. i can see how it belongs in a list of albums to listen to before you die, but i dont see myself coming back and lisrening to it too often. Careless Love was a stand out to me for mood and feel. And You are My Sunshine more of a histroical artefact,

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Thu Mar 03 2022
4

Loved it

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Mon Mar 14 2022
4

My first album from Ray Charles, I can definitely say I am not disappointed. This has aged very well, still feels like an era gone by with the background vocals and orchestration, but I do mean that in the best way possible.

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Tue Mar 15 2022
4

First, stop and think about all the grief Lil Nas X got for doing country a couple of years ago. It wasn't even recognised as country till he got a cosign from Billie Ray Cyrus. Now consider that Ray Charles recorded this, against his labels wishes SIXTY YEARS AGO. Dude was brave or mad. It opens fun, with a song I know better by the Every brothers. His version is fun, especially as he waits a full minute before his beautiful voice jumps in. Maybe he wanted to give the racists a surprise! Then it pivots into the more mellow, sad, lovelorn side of country, and hits the right notes there too! It's all really good. It's rare I'm this hungry for more after an older album - but I was glad there was a second lp of this recorded!

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Thu Mar 24 2022
4

Billy Joel said it best about this album. A black man taking the whitest music and making it his own. It's easy to lose sight of what a big deal this was at the time, and a lot of these songs have become such Ray Charles standards that a listener might not appreciate the significance of its existence. Seeing the album title alone, you'd be forgiven in thinking this would be a country album. In that respect, I prefer Charlie Pride over this. But it's NOT a country album. Billy Joel was right: It's a Ray Charles album. Old Ray made sure of that.

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Tue Mar 29 2022
4

A true delight.

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Wed Mar 30 2022
4

I am not familiar with a lot of country music. This I can get used to.

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Thu Mar 31 2022
4

Rating: 7/10

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Mon Apr 11 2022
4

Liked this a lot more than I would. Nice chilled out background music.. had it on while going through work emails. Standout track is the cover of 'You Are My Sunshine"

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Wed Apr 13 2022
4

This is where classic swing, soul and blues meet. I liked this quite a bit more than I thought I would. Great arrangements with chorus and sweeping strings, yet with a melancholy undertone make for an irresistible mixture of music. 4/5

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Mon Apr 18 2022
4

Jazzy

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Mon Apr 25 2022
4

Ray Charles er æðsilegur söngvari og þessi production er mjög sjarmerandi, kántrí slagarar með heilmiklum strengjum og þykkum kórbakröddum. Þetta er ekki plata sem talar beinlínis til mín, en hún er mjög áheyrileg.

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Tue Apr 26 2022
4

Good stuff

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Tue Apr 26 2022
4

Just a good album start to finish.

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Wed Apr 27 2022
4

Some very engaging tracks . I love his voice

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Thu May 05 2022
4

What a gorgeous album. To say my usual of, "it blends [x] genres well," would be doing a disservice. It's amazing what Ray Charles is able to do here, between picking some real country weepers, changing them entirely, and keeping the soul of the songs. My only nitpick is the chorus: they're a little bland and sometimes bring down a song pretty heavily. Favorite tracks: "Half As Much", "Just a Little Lovin'", "Careless Love"

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Wed May 11 2022
4

J'ai bien aimé l"album, c'est très classique et les chansons sont super bien arrangés par Ray Charles, une légende. Cependant, ca manque un peude punch à la longue avec une durée de 1h15, ca tourne ne rond un peu vers la fin. 4*

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Fri May 13 2022
4

String arrangements are boss. I feel old to say this/think this, but pop songs used to be really complicated! I love that. Some still go to the trouble--like I've noticed on Silk Sonic's music-- but most do not. It's such a lovely pleasure to sit down with stuff like this. I can't say I prefer Charles' versions of anything over others, but they're all lovely and this gets plenty of bonus for breaking barriers.

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Fri May 13 2022
4

Loved this. Super solid and fun. Been a fan of Ray Charles for a long time.

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Fri May 13 2022
4

Gorgeous album, and I can understand why my dad calls contemporary music mere “noise.” This album breathes!

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Mon May 16 2022
4

Feels like the soundtrack to a Disney film, gentle, warming, but a powerful voice and I love it. "Just a Little Lovin'" my favourite track on the album.

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Wed Jun 01 2022
4

Respectable stuff, not something I always wanna hear but it all sounds great. A cool tidbit from Wikipedia: "The album's integration of soul and country challenged racial barriers in popular music at the height of the Civil Rights Movement. In the process of recording the album, Charles became one of the first African-American musicians to exercise complete artistic control over his own recording career."

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Wed Jun 01 2022
4

Such an alluring, legendary sound. Ridiculous album title.

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Wed Jun 08 2022
4

4/5

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Fri Jun 10 2022
4

Save me the Ray Conniff singers and give me more of Ray’s bangin’ piano solos and this could be a five star effort. Still, it’s a textbook example of jumping, swinging and heartfelt blues.

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Fri Jun 17 2022
4

As I was listening through this album, I developed a boatload of flawed assumptions about how this album (a country album by a soul singer) came to be. I figured that a bunch of studio bigwigs forced Ray into this path in order to line their pockets. Reading through the Wikipedia article for this album though, I found out I was dead wrong, and my appreciation for what this album is has appreciated all the more for it. The truth is that Ray was the mastermind behind this cross-over and through this work the popularity of country music on the whole was significantly improved. An enjoyable twist on many levels. The music and the performances are fantastic, and Ray brings his characteristic charisma and soulful touch to each track. Perhaps 24 tracks does feel a touch long, but it can be forgiven.

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Wed Jun 29 2022
4

What can anyone say, its Ray Charles. The man was a hell of a performer. Bit cruel of to have made him sing some of the lyrics in careless love, mind. One thing I will say about this is that you should listen to it in two goes. It does get challenging after a while.

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Fri Jul 08 2022
4

Track 1 - Bye Bye Love: I felt this track pretty hard. It was like almost eerie to me, to hear this kinda up beat sounding song and backing vocals with such a sad message. It felt like a song I'd hear in a nightmare. I relate to it a lot Track 2 - You Don't Know Me: I swear if this whole album is gonna be sad tracks about love... I don't relate as much to this song currently, but I've definitely been there, feeling like I wanted to be with someone and they had no idea. Track 3 - Half as Much: ah, all about love then. sadge. Track 4 - I love you so much it hurts: yeah....guess we're crying at work lmao track 5 - just a little lovin: sadge track 6 - born to lose: lol i wanna kms. this is not okay, again all the music in this album has just been creepy and eerie to me, I know its not intended to be and its just an anachronism from the time but jeez track 7- worried mind: This is a sad song too, I just don't happen to feel this resentment, or those feelings of like, they did something wrong. I know it was my fault if anything. track 8 - makes no difference now: So I see that this album is kind of taking shape maybe, telling a story possibly of Ray's journey through love and loss and coming to terms with it track 9 - you win again: no charles, you need to leave, shes a bitch. Dont put up with her fucking other dudes track 10 - careless love: BUT YOU ARE BLIND track 11: i cant stop loving you: okay this is it, this is the song that encapuslates me and my feelings. Everyone tells me to move on, and that time will fix things. but they dont help me right now, so just let me be sad and miss her please. Its depressing and lonely and pathetic but its what i want to do right now, because moving on would be too hard right now. track 12 - hey good lookin: A nice change of pace for the music, a little bit more fun and hopeful. Also god dammit if it isnt time appropriate, a two dollar bill being used as common place, goddayum. also charles again, you are blind my guy! disc 2 track 13 - you are my sunshine: STOP CHARLES, ITS TOO RELATABLE :( track 14 - no letter today: god dammit track 15 - someday: good for you ray, you found someone else track 16 - dont tell me your troubles: yeah fuck that bitch track 17 - midnight: mhm track 18 oh, lonesome me; yeah trueeeee track 19 take these chains from my heart feel that track 20 your cheatin heart get out bro track 21 ill never stand in your way yah feel that track 22 making believe just very sad and relatable track 23 teardrops in my heart sad track 24 hang your head in shame im sorry ray

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Tue Jul 12 2022
4

loved it. good singer, good music, good lyrics. def enjoy this kinda stuff.

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Tue Jul 12 2022
4

always a good listen, amazing vocals and orchestra

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Sat Jul 16 2022
4

Hadn't heard most of the songs before, but found myself nodding or tapping my foot through most of it. Good stuff

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Tue Jul 19 2022
4

Solid stuff here

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Fri Aug 05 2022
4

Honestly really liked most of it.

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Fri Aug 05 2022
4

Some people may have thought it a risk for Ray Charles to record a Country album. Obviously they were very wrong. Partly because this really isn't a Country album. Charles thought that the lyrics and overall feeling of Country songs were similar to R&B. It was ingenious for him to put this album together - a combination of Country, R&B, and even Big Band. It was a pleasure listening to this music. Charles was definitely ahead of his time in combining genres. My favorites were "You Are My Sunshine" and "Careless Love."

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Mon Aug 15 2022
4

Cool!

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Mon Aug 22 2022
4

Really interesting concept, covers of country songs in the style of a big band crooner. Gets a bit repetitive by the end but lots of great #numbers

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Mon Aug 22 2022
4

Great, but rather chill.

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Sat Aug 27 2022
4

Odd album concept but the songs are certainly great. Some big hits too. 'I can't stop loving you' is one of the altime greats. Culturally this had a big impact too so it should get recognition for that if nothing else. The arrangements are a bit smaltzy by todays standards and not much piano either. A bit like a big band album rather than C&W.

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Tue Aug 30 2022
4

Very good crooning and R&B, but a little long. Very cool to see him take western music and reimagine it like this, especially during the civil rights movement. 3 musically, but a 4.5 culturally.

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Wed Aug 31 2022
4

Amazing voice

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Mon Sep 05 2022
4

Belle le canzoni movimentate

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Mon Sep 05 2022
4

There doesn't seem much point analysing this in 2022, prima facie. Its innovations have diffused so much into music since that it feels, if not quite archaic, then venerable to be generous, or aged to be mean. Ultimately, its status as a transitional work makes it both important and ever so slight. Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, Ray Charles' 18th album, found Charles taking a significant gamble. A rhythm and blues musician presenting a modified form of country music in early 1960s America carried the risk of bigots treating the album as a provocation. However, Charles succeeded in not only adding new instrumentation, orchestration and direction to country and folk standards, but continuing to develop the nascent genre of soul. But you would have noticed in the first paragraph some reluctance on my part to extol the album. Of course, there's great stuff on this. But the title hints at one of the reasons for my hesitancy: it's a collection of modern sounds, rather than a fully cohesive album. That's hardly the fault of the album or Ray Charles. It's the fault of my own expectations. We have passed through the album era, with its evolution of the album as a unified artwork, so when we look back at the earliest albums, they can seem akin to compilations. Should we seek to cleanse ourselves of these predispositions? Can we? I honestly don't know. I also said that the album was a transitional work, a work whose experiments helped determine the course several genres would take in the upcoming years. However, that carries with it the aspect that not every experiment works. Personally, I don't much favour the numbers drenched in strings and choral singers, finding them mawkish and very dated. I reckon quite a few current listeners would concur with me. This could again be my partialities, or it could be the simple consequence of time on a sixty-year-old album. I don't envisage myself warming to such syrup in the future, but maybe I shouldn't make such a blunt prediction. The critical tenor of this review is perhaps a gnat unfair, since I've spent two paragraphs explaining why I can't fully embrace the album. Be assured that there is much to savour. And one heavyweight point of the album is that music doesn't benefit from segregation, be it imposed or adopted. Here we have a luminous illustration of how rhythm and blues musicians took as much inspiration from country musicians as country musicians took from rhythm and blues musicians. Compare that to George Clinton digging hard rock, Detroit house tipping their caps to Kraftwerk and Depeche Mode, and the inexhaustible phalanxes of rappers praising Phil Collins as a genius. Wait, with that last example, have I demolished my own argument?

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Tue Sep 13 2022
4

Rather enjoyed this - made me feel like I was in a Scorsese movie! I listened to both volumes 1 and 2. Tended to like the more upbeat numbers more than the slow ones, and vol 2 seemed to have more of those. Fave track - "I Can't Stop Loving You" from vol 1 - that arrangement with the backing choir gives me shivers! From vol 2 "Don't Tell Me Your Troubles" Oh yeah!

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Fri Sep 16 2022
4

I don't know how to rate the album... It was really good but in the end it was exactly what I expected from Ray Charles and nothing more to it... I loves the dings but not more than any other song of the album... Solid 4.5/5

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Tue Sep 27 2022
4

Not completely what I was expecting when I saw “country” even with it being Ray Charles. Pretty great time to listen to this though. Each song feels powerful and soulful and pushes its message well. 7/10

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Wed Sep 28 2022
4

Love Ray, but the back half of this album DRAGS and is very SAMEY. But still... love Ray. Can't in good conscious go less than a 4. If this were just "volume 1" it would be an easy 5.

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Thu Sep 29 2022
4

Good music from a forgotten era

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Sun Oct 02 2022
4

This is a pretty great album, I guess it's technically 2 put together, so albums. The instruments sound so good and Ray is obviously a talented singer. Yet, I don't feel like I'd listen to this much. Not the entire album anyway. I'd prefer this is bite sized pieces when I need something that sounds like this. Despite how good the songs are, I don't want a whole album of it at one time. I know that's odd, but it is what it is.

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Tue Oct 04 2022
4

Favorite Songs: You Don't Know Me, Born to Loose, Midnight (dark and mysterious intro) Beautiful voice

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Tue Oct 04 2022
4

very good, very fun

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Sat Oct 08 2022
4

Great oldies rock

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Mon Oct 10 2022
4

Very timeless. But thats just to be expected from Ray Charles. Beautiful album

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Tue Oct 11 2022
4

It’s surprising how many musicians I’m finding that I know the names of, but know nothing about. I could t even say before listening to this what genre Ray Charles comes under. Interested to listen to this. Songs I already knew: some I knew by other artists, but I didn’t know any Ray Charles versions Favourites after listening: Hey Good Lookin’, You Are My Sunshine - I’d go as far as to say these are both vastly superior to the original versions I did quite enjoy this, it often sounded similar to Glenn Miller who I do enjoy. I think I’ve always enjoyed swing music if I’ve come across it organically, but I haven’t tended to actively search for it. Despite being a double album, it was an enjoyable listen from front to back. I admitted did get a little tired towards the end, but that’s the nature of how I’m choosing to listen to these albums.

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Wed Oct 19 2022
4

Super solid I dig

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Wed Oct 19 2022
4

Such an amazing voice, great tunes...not something I would listen to that often, but definitely a classic

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Sat Oct 29 2022
4

Jamie Foxx

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Mon Oct 31 2022
4

Probably 3.5. but too long.

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Sat Nov 05 2022
4

This sounds so Christmassy, and really shows his talent at taking songs and turning them into soulful classics. Probably a little over-done by the end but you can't deny that there's not a duff track on there.

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Sat Nov 05 2022
4

A legendary singer/voice/story teller. I will definitely give this another listen.

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Sun Nov 06 2022
4

Wow! Denna ägde

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Sun Nov 06 2022
4

Modern? More like timeless

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Sun Nov 06 2022
4

Modern jams in jam and bop music

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Sun Nov 06 2022
4

Mysigt

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Thu Nov 17 2022
4

Ok

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Mon Nov 28 2022
4

What a beautiful album. Such a great voice.

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Mon Nov 28 2022
4

Before listening - I have looked forward to this album. Having never actually listened to the album, I have appreciation for Ray Charles’ musical genius and his genre bending endeavors throughout his career. After listening – I absolutely love that some of this is clearly country music but at the same time, most definitely not country music. Good examples of what I mean by this is the song Worried Mind or Take These Chains From My Heart. The jazz beats and bluesy feels bleeding through is lovely but at times moves fully into Frank Sinatra-ish traditional pop territory, which I think is where it falls apart a bit. Overall this album was enjoyed by me.

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Wed Nov 30 2022
4

Loved it!!!

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Wed Jul 14 2021
3

Hyvän fiiliksen levy

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Fri May 14 2021
3

Talented, yes. Kinda boring by today’s standards, also yes. Music from the 50s/60s just moved at a slower pace. His blues/jazz is great tho.

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Mon Jun 14 2021
3

Este álbum tiene un background muy interesante. Creo que para nosotros, después de TANTOS años es difícil apreciar su importancia, pero aprecio la influencia que tuvo en: - La emancipación de la raza afroamericana - La difusión de la música country En cuanto al aspecto musical, pues sí, definitivamente tiene el estilo de Ray Charles (incluso mi mamá lo pudo reconocer, por alguna canción que estaba escuchando), pero creo que me daría flojerita volverlo a escuchar todo.

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Mon Jun 14 2021
3

El viejo mote 'viejitas pero bonitas' hecho disco. Canciones que para el momento de grabar este disco ya tenían 10-15 años de existencia y que puedo catalogar en dos grandes grupos: las calmadas y las movidas. Las calmadas: muy muy lentas, muchas cuerdas, muy sufridas, casi todas. Las movidas: big band, más metales, menos sufridas, sólo 2. Todas hablan de amor. En su mayoría canciones lentas y tristes, es un disco lindo si estás en el momento de oírlo, porque si no es bastante pesado. Se agradece montones cerrar 38 minutos de sufrimiento con Hey Good Lookin! Songs: Just a Little Lovin', Hey Good Lookin', I Can't Stop Loving You.

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Tue Apr 06 2021
3

3 - kann man schon geben

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Thu Jun 17 2021
3

Nice enough to listen to whilst working from home. Nothing made me really sit up and take notice. Its Nice and nothing more. 3/5

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Sat Apr 24 2021
3

3.5/5 I liked it but it wasn't my favorite RC album

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Thu May 06 2021
3

Leuke versie van ‘Bye bye love’, verder had het wat energieker gekund.

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Wed May 12 2021
3

I'm getting behind - lots to catch up on! I really enjoyed this to start with, then it got a bit samey and boring...

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Thu Apr 15 2021
3

tres long, trop long, Ray est neammoins un eleve appliqué, 3/5

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Thu Apr 08 2021
3

Bluesy lyrics over sweet melodies

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Sat May 22 2021
3

teilweise sehr cheesy, teilweise recht netter swing

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Tue Apr 06 2021
3

Like a trip to another time. I struggled with some of the songs subjects tho, a little too much love lost and ‘I won’t stand in your way if you love another’ for my tastes. I actually struggled to tell some of the songs apart from one another! Musically rich with big band instruments and clearly talented Apparently Ray Charles became one of the first Black musicians to be granted artistic control by a mainstream record company, ABC. Reading up on him, he had 12 children with ten different women and was addicted to Weed and Heroin. How he had time to record any music I don’t know...

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Fri Apr 23 2021
3

Álbum de corno 1920 but cool... Meio longuinho, fica um pouco repetitivo e cansa.

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Wed Jul 21 2021
3

this is long but hey it's music i'm kinda into so i'm good. on song 2 and it seems like it's going to be pretty varied. 'i love you so much it hurts' perfectly captured the feeling of falling in love. songs so far are just lovely. my soul feels soothed. i'm afraid i got bored about 8 tracks in but it's still super pleasant music lol. it's good background music i imagine they played this at like fancy restaurants and events lol. i didn't dig as much the tracks that lean more heavily into country territory. but it's whatever, not the worst thing ever. adds more variety at least. the heavenly choir started to get a little annoying somewhere in between 'i'll never stand in your way' and 'make believe' lol. thank god it was about to end. in smaller doses and w/o paying it my utmost attention, this is gorgeous music. as most almost 2 hour long albums, it'd be better if it was 40 minutes long with just the best songs lol. 3.5.

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Thu Jul 01 2021
3

Mi piace lo stile e il modo di Ray Charles però poi trovo la sua musica troppo piaciona e poco divertente. Alcuni brani sono troppo natalizi, lo risentirò tra l'8 dicembre e il 6 gennaio.

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Fri May 07 2021
3

Nope, not my favorite from Ray.

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