unraveling

Tapestry Revisited: A Tribute to Carole King (Lava/Atlantic)
Various artists

By Bob Bahr

I can hear the strategy sessions now...

"We take a classic album, assemble some of the biggest contemporary stars and song interpreters, and redo the record track for track. It's a sure thing!"

As Tapestry Revisited proves, it is not a sure thing. The specific artists have to have a real feeling for the song that they are paired with; if they don't, yawns are the result. So for the remake of Carole King's chart-ruling 1971 album Tapestry, here's the score: five yawns, four smiles and three pleasantries.

Eternal reworks "I Feel the Earth Move" with a choir and a gospel kick, and it's a lot of fun. Amy Grant (enabled by a great backing band) demonstrates a real feel for "It's Too Late," while Curtis Stiger makes "Home Again" a soulful success. The one act on Tapestry Revisited that you think you can count on for forgettable schmaltz, Manhattan Transfer; actually kicks butt on "Smackwater Jack" — thanks in no small part to a great arrangement."

Rod Stewart is a great vocalist, and though he does nothing startling on "So Far Away," it is pleasant enough. Ditto for Faith Hill's take on "Where You bead" and All-4-One's "Tapestry."

The contributions from Richard Marx, Blessid Union of Souls, Celine Dione, the Bee Gees, Bebe & Cece Winans and (believe it or not) Aretha Franklin are strictly snoozeville. I can't imagine who is the market for this disc. Big fans of the original Tapestry won't be impressed by this uneven collection. I guess it is aimed at the musically ambivalent who have vaguely fond memories of a landmark album. Me? I was a Led Zeppelin fan.

`shoulda left it on paper