The most westcoast oriented label of today is once again on the agenda with a highly interesting CD. As always, Contante & Sonante has been able to dig up never before released songs with WARREN WIEBE, and included them with a number of previously released tunes for this CD. And yes, it may be incorrect to label this as a solo album by Warren Wiebe, but I couldn’t help but doing so. He kind of deserves it, in my humble opinion!
It’s been twenty years since Warren sadly left us, which is one of the reasons that we see this collection of his recordings this year. And now, hearing these songs, makes me miss him so deeply.
The album opens up with two demo songs by DAVID FOSTER. Yes, you read it right. I mean, how many of all you guys out there haven’t dreamt about all the unreleased Foster recordings that are probably hidden here and there? It starts with “The color of my love” (of course known as recorded by CELINE DION), while the second Foster song is “Live each day”. The first one out is, as is the case in many of this label’s releases, a truly mellow ballad as you know. Warren’s magic voice lifts the song up, even though it is a lovely ballad in itself. The other Foster tune is a semi-ballad, once again soft but richly arranged. The keyboard work is of course impeccable. If you feel the song is familiar, Foster had an instrumental version of it on his “Love lights the world” album.
“Love made me wait” is a semi-hidden gem that Steve Deutsch dig up, written by BURT BACHARACH, DAVE LOGGINS and TONIO K. Just hear the singing from Warren in this magic ballad! Lots of David Foster influences, I’d say.
One of the unexpected songs here is “Spend a little time with you” which has got a pop tinged 60’s pop/rock vibe to it, and it’s from TOM SNOW demo sessions. Not the usual style to expect here, but actually a fine way to hear a new dimension of Wiebe’s amazing voice.
The best and coolest song of the whole album, in my opinion, is “The day I first saw you” by GUY THOMAS & JOSEPH WILLIAMS! Very TOTO oriented, maybe even close to one or two famous Toto songs, but still excellent. It also makes a huge difference to the rest of the album, since we get some electric guitar here – delicately played by Guy!
The slightly underated genius TIM FEEHAN also contributes with two recordings: “Don’t tell my heart” and “Make a wish”. A bit softer that what you usually get from Feehan, but one must not forget the awesome westcoast tinged released he started his career with, both solo and in FOOTLOOSE. Both songs are richly arranged and very, very good. You almost get a Wiebe overload here, because it is almost impossible to understand how great a singer he was. And they say a lot of what he recorded was done in one take…
There songs that have been previously released before this release on the Contante & Sonante label are: “A little thing called life” & “The echo of your whisper” (STEVE DORFF “Original demos”), “Never take that chance again” (BURT BACHARACH & TONIO K “Original demos”), “You’re welcome in my life” (TOM SNOW “Original demos”) as well as “17 years” & “Nothing that I wouldn’t say” (GARDNER & FULLER “Original demos”). God, I love these releases in the Songwriter Series! Just buy.