Review: Dwight Townsend “Hello Again – The Best of Dwight Townsend”

Dwight Townsend “Hello Again – The Best of Dwight Townsend”

15 Feb, 2012 Rhonda Readence

Accompanied by members of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Dwight Townsend brings back the golden age of music with his 40-song double album Hello Again – The Best of Dwight Townsend.  His rich baritone voice is on par with the likes of Frank Sinatra, Perry Como and Dean Martin.  Elegant instrumentation throughout lends this double album a sense of romance and nostalgia for the good old days.

The title track, a cover of Neil Diamond’s “Hello Again,” starts things off with graceful piano playing and Townsend’s classic operatic vocals.  His music is simply classic and tracks like “I Can’t Believe I’m Losing You” and “I Have Dreamed” seem to come right out of a musical.  Townsend also does a stunning rendition of “Some Enchanted Evening” that rivals the original in skill and grace.

One of the highlights on Hello Again – The Best of Dwight Townsend is his take on the timeless “Unchained Melody.”  Townsend slows the pace down a bit and croons his way through it with confidence.  This is a voice that will melt butter and his version of this wonderful piece of music will send chills down the spine.  Another of Townsend’s attributes is his ability to create songs with vivid imagery in the lyrics.  Offerings like “Once Upon A Time” and “Wrinkles” contain such descriptive lyrics that the listener will be able to imagine the scenes with total clarity.

Most of the tracks on this double album are from a long gone era of powerful show tunes that seem familiar, even though many of the songs are Dwight Townsend originals.  Tracks such as “Paper Moon” and “When I Take My Sugar To Tea” carry a jazzy swing vibe that will get the feet tapping.  The instrumentation throughout the album is extraordinary, particularly during the latter piece.

Townsend is gifted with the ability to use his rich baritone voice in slow songs such as “I’m Old Fashioned” and “All At Once You Love Her” while on the same token, he can sing upbeat numbers like “If I Didn’t Have You” with equal ease and skill.  Another standout piece on the album is “I’m Beginning To See The Light,” which is a jazzy number with an upbeat tempo that is done with perfection.  The musicianship is absolutely stellar and the sound quality is crisp.

Hello Again – The Best of Dwight Townsend is, quite simply, one of the most extraordinary double albums to grace the music world.  Townsend has brought back a bygone age of show tunes and smooth jazzy pieces that are energetic.  Townsend also has his share of classically romantic offerings that are made even more so by his seductive voice.  With help from members of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Dwight Townsend has created a masterpiece that is musically intricate and lyrically impressive.  He has made sure the golden age of music is remembered and he has done it with grace and charm.

Review by Rhonda Readence
Rating:  5 stars (out of 5)