B.J. Thomas - The Living Room Sessions

B.J. Thomas
The Living Room Sessions
 Product Details
Don’t Worry Baby 3:51 I Just Can’t Help Believing 3:47 Most of All 3:46 Eyes of a New York Woman 3:13
(Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song 3:20 I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry 3:22 Rock and Roll Lullaby 4:27
New Looks From an Old Lover 3:27
What Ever Happened to Old Fashioned Love 3:47 Hooked on a Feeling 3:00 Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head 3:00 Everybody’s Out of Town 3:35

This album starts off with a really soft easy listening song. So far it is a nice welcome change. B.J. Thomas has a great voice that really goes well with the acoustic guitar, some background singers, and a soft melody. A lot of these albums I don’t know what to expect, what I’m about to get myself into, and then it happens. Everything I was dreading comes alive and I’m pissing myself, hiding under the covers, and crunching down on my fingernails so fiercely that my knuckles are showing bone. Don’t Worry Baby has got my attention. Finally, I can start an album just relaxing, sinking into the pillows and smoothly tapping out some nice easy keystrokes.
I Just Can’t Help Believing keeps it up. The sweet, splashing acoustic guitar drapes the listener with pouring sunlight and can’t help bring out a smile. The comforts of the living room are truly brought out in this song. Well hey, so far so good, let’s move on to the third track.
Most of All (with Keb Mo) reminds me a lot of James Taylor. Wait a minute. I’ve definitely heard this song before. Hold on. Let me look down the playlist really quick. Now, I remember.
I was just cleaning up the bar getting ready to open. It was the summer of 2001, and I was working on Bourbon Street in New Orleans. The DJ always played a few songs I liked before the street got busy. I got to work on this review. I’ll get back to my story later. Deep in the Eyes of a New York Woman keeps the album moving along nicely. The more songs I listen to now, the more I can’t believe I didn’t think of it before. Especially with (Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song. The further we get into the album the more you’ll understand why I wrote that. Just listen to the vocals carefully. Pay attention to his pitch, closely follow the tone.
I’m So Lonesome I could Cry is the first real downer I have encountered so far. It kind of seems out of place. Then, Rock and Roll Lullaby comes on, this is another song that most people will recognize. If you didn’t hear the original, I’m sure you’ve heard a cover. The next two songs are more like ‘love songs’ than anything on the album. I guess they’re more for the couples.
So now it’s time to get back to my story. I’m getting the bar ready, wiping it down, cleaning out the ashtrays, etc. etc. The DJ is up in the booth on a second floor above me, but I can see him and he can hear me as I yell. He’s playing “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond. I’m dancing around the bar as I’m cleaning and he yells out. “What do you want to hear next?”
I yell back, “Play that other song by him…You know… Hooked on a Feeling”
He yells, “He doesn’t sing that.”
And I, young and cocky as ever, laugh, pull out two hundred dollar bills, slap them on the bar, and say, “I’ll bet you right now.”
He comes down, and almost simultaneously, tosses the vinyl on the counter slaps his hand over my money and has it tucked deep inside his pocket before I can pick up the record and read it. B.J. Thomas I read, and the only thought that came to mind was, “Wow. I lost. There goes my two hundred bucks.”
I truly feel honored to even get the chance to review this album. This is B.J. Thomas’ first ‘unplugged’ album. It celebrates his fifty years in the music industry. During his career he has sold over 70 million records, has had eleven gold records, has had multiple top 40 hits, the list just goes on and on. This album is a must have for any country music fan, or better yet, any fan of music. Whether you are a die-hard pickup driving, beer guzzling, trailer park tenant, or an evangelical missionary bible toting preacher; hell why not even a monk locked behind the bricks of some castle tower in some faraway distant world, or a twisted death metal music fan banging his head so hard that the day to day grind of his shirt and tie seem to evaporate with each strike of the stage, this album is a must have for EVERYONE!

Jeremy Frost for Country Music News International

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