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Because from George Martin

"Because" on George Martin's IN MY LIFE



Reviewed by Vpa

IN MY LIFE is neither a Vanessa-Mae album nor classical music, but what the hell, I'll review it anyway. Some Vanessa-Mae fans might wonder whether or not this album will be worthwhile for them, so hopefully this section can help them decide.
What is IN MY LIFE?
Vanessa-Mae did a song on the new album IN MY LIFE, which is by George Martin. George Martin is a famous long-time producer, whose work includes the Beatles, and this album is re-arrangements of Beatles classics performed by "friends and heroes" of George Martin for his final farewell album.
Vanessa-Mae's "Because"
Vanessa-Mae's song is very loosely based on John Lennon's classic "Because". It opens with a violin solo, then a chorus joins in, with a piano and orchestra way in the background. It's a beautiful song. In my opinion it is the best on this album, but not one of Vanessa-Mae's best. It was arranged by George Martin, not written by Vanessa-Mae or even together with Vanessa-Mae. It is a short song, like all of the tracks on album. But it is a new Vanessa-Mae song, not available elsewhere.
The notes say about this song: "Because" was a strange song for John to write. He got the idea from the arpeggios in Beethoven's 'Moonlight Sonata' but the choral work was really classic Beatles. It has all the ingredients of classical music, so I decided to take it one step further, writing it as a mini concerto for violin for Vanessa Mae, one of the brightest young stars in the world of music.
(Vanessa-Mae's name is misspelled "Vanessa Mae" without the hyphen throughout the album notes and cover.)
The Philadelphia Inquirer added that George Martin selected Vanessa-Mae over Nigel Kennedy because "She's prettier."
The Rest of the Album
The 11 tracks consist of instrumentals by Vanessa-Mae, rock guitarist Jeff Beck, and classical guitarist John Williams; two purely orchestral works of George Martin; two songs by famous singers Celine Dion and Phil Collins; and five tracks which are musical debuts of famous actors Robin Williams, Goldie Hawn, Jim Carrey, Billy Connolly, and Sean Connery.
The use of so many famous actors on a musical album is unique. This are very familiar voices, but we aren't used to hearing them sing! They're not as bad as you might expect. Robin Williams (accompanied by Bobby McFerrin) is suprisingly good, although Sean Connery shouldn't quit his day job. Four of the five are known mostly as comedians, and they add comic touches to the performances. Let's face it, the lyrics of "I am a Walrus" cry out to be done by a comedian. Of course the actors have a different style than the professional singers Celine Dion and Phil Collins.
Track List
  1. Come Together - Robin Williams and Bobby McFerrin
  2. A Hard Day's Night - Goldie Hawn
  3. A Day in the Life - Jeff Beck
  4. Here There and Everywhere - Celine Dion
  5. Because - Vanessa-Mae
  6. I Am the Walrus - Jim Carrey
  7. Here Comes the Sun - John Williams
  8. Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite - Billy Connolly
  9. The Pepperland Suite - George Martin
  10. Golden Slumbers, Carry that Weight, the End - Phil Collins
  11. Friends and Lovers - George Martin
  12. In My Life - Sean Connery

First off, this is not a "must-buy" for all Vanessa-Mae fans. If you think that Beatles music is boring, it won't be worth the cost of the album just to get three minutes of Vanessa-Mae music. But if you like the Beatles at all, you will be interested in this album.
The inlay notes have no photos of any of the performers, only of George Martin and the Beatles.
The album is quite short, less than 45 minutes. They didn't print the total running time or the track lengths in the packaging; maybe too embarassed?
My second favorite track is Jeff Beck's "A Day in the Life", which is also my favorite Beatles song. His electric guitar takes the part which was originally the lead vocals, as does Vanessa-Mae's violin in "Because".
Byt the way, Vanessa-Mae also appeared in Janet Jackson's album THE VELVET ROPE.


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