March 22, 2011

Album review: "Elvis Barbra & jag"

After listening to the full new album a number of times these are my thoughts:

There are some fantastic songs on "Elvis Barbra & jag". And some amazing vocal performances by Carola; a couple of them could be Carola's most compelling pop/rock performances on an album ever! The two singles, "Suspicious Minds" and "Enough is Enough (No More Tears)", are both quite great interpretations of the original songs, and good choices for singles. But the two clear favorites on the album for me are "Always On My Mind"—which Carola sings with such an emotionally charged voice, I never heard her better (perhaps live, but not on album), and "Guilty"—which is a great cover version, where the original beats are modified and modernized. Jones, who sings duet with Carola on "Guilty" (and also produced the album), is a great singer and adds a great soulful feel to the song.

"In the Ghetto" is not a favorite song of mine—I can find it somewhat "cheesy", but this version sounds great, with a modern and laid back beat that drives the song along. On the other hand, "The Way We Were" is an amazing song that seems a little too laid back. Remember when Carola performed it on TV in the 80's (watch video)? I loved that! The album version leaves me wishing for more.

The gospel "Lead Me Guide Me" is the one song I wish hadn't been included on the album. Couldn't we've had "Papa Can You Hear Me" or "American Trilogy" instead? This song I will skip every time I listen to the album.

Here's how I rate each song individually:
Always On My Mind

Suspicious Minds
In the Ghetto
Enough is Enough (No More Tears)
You've Lost That Loving Feeling

Woman in Love
The Way We Were

Watch Closely Now
Heartbreak Hotel

Lead Me Guide Me
Average rating: 3.25

Do you agree? Let me know what you think of the new album!


  1. I think this is the best Carola ever done, and I hope more people will discover this fantastic album. My opinion is that Carolas makes every song her own, and it's very touching.

  2. She seems very personal and intimate with the music, which is great, and also why I like some of the songs a lot. I just feel that it has it weaker moments. You love every single song on the album?

    —Carola International

  3. I agree, I think she should have recorded "Papa Can You Hear Me" and "American Trilogy"

    I think the "papa" song was the best song & performance on her DVD (touching!!)
    And her performance with American trilogy in Toner för miljoner was ONE of best perfomances EVER!

    So only 3,5/5 for me.

  4. +++++
    Watch closely now (Wow. Just wow. Her voice!!!)
    Evergreen (I'm not sure if I like the song or not, but she sings like an angel here)

    Always on my mind
    Enough is enough
    You've lost that loving feeling

    In the ghetto
    Suspicious minds (I think she shows off too much here - no true feeling in her voice)
    The way we were (might get a higher grade from me when I've listened to it a bit more - she holds back here, and it's quite an interesting performance)

    Woman in love
    Lead me, guide me

    Heartbreak Hotel (Horrible, just horrible. One of the worst recordings she has ever made. Those "jazzy screams" are simply awful!)

  5. Most reviews have been lukewarm (even though most of them praise Carola's voice). But Västerbottens-Kuriren gives Carola a glowing review:

  6. Thanks Johnny for posting!
    We agree on many of the songs, but as you noticed, your two favorites are some of my least favorites! :) Shows that this is a lot about personal taste...
    Again, thanks for reading/commenting!

  7. I'm sorry to say, but just like I feared, I'm not feeling this album at all. The idea behind the album is sweet and touching, but it doesn't help the end product. Carola sings well, but the production lacks any personality and I don't think we needed new versions of cliched tracks like Always On My Mind, Guilty etc. anyway. The originals are so strong there isn't anything even Carola can add. Or maybe they should've produced the songs in a more different way from the originals.

    I've managed to make it through the album once and I doubt I'll ever be revisiting most of the tracks. But I do love In The Ghetto and especially The Way We Were - I can hear it in her voice that she's singing the song to her parents and the memories that used to be. It's very touching and intimate.

    All and all I keep on waiting for that new pop/rock album of songs written by herself she's been talking about for many years. Personligt 2.0! Hopefully that happens soon.