Album Review: Joshua Bell, At Home With Friends

I was given the opportunity to review Joshua Bell’s new album (Released yesterday!), At Home With Friends, and am so excited to share with you how much I loved it! jb_cover First, however, here’s a look at the tracks on the album:

Album Track Listing:

  1. I Loves You Porgy featuring Chris Botti, trumpet
  2. Come Again featuring Sting, vocals
  3. Oblivion featuring Carel Kraayenhof, bandoneon
  4. Cinema Paradiso featuring Josh Groban, vocals
  5. Para Tí featuring Tiempo Libre, various
  6. My Funny Valentine featuring Kristin Chenoweth, vocals
  7. Maybe So featuring Edgar Meyer Sam Bush and Mike Marshall, strings
  8. Grieg: Sonata No. 3 featuring Sergei Rachmaninoff (Zenph re-performance)
  9. Eleanor Rigby featuring Frankie Moreno, piano & vocals
  10. O, Cease Thy Maiden Fair featuring Nathan Gunn, baritone
  11. Il Postino featuring Carel Kraayenhof, bandoneon
  12. Left Hand Song featuring Regina Spektor, piano & vocals
  13. Chovendo Na Roseira featuring Dave Grusin, piano
  14. Look Away featuring Edgar Meyer, bass and Chris Thile, mandolin
  15. Variant Moods: Duet for Sitar & Violin featuring Anoushka Shankar, sitar
  16. I’ll Take Manhattan featuring Marvin Hamlisch, piano

Joshua Bell has an extensive background. He’s been in the spotlight since age 14 and has recorded more than 30 albums since. Learn more about this Grammy Award winning artist on his website.

I really enjoyed this album. The instrumentals were extremely well done and fit together nicely. The album offers something for everyone; there are pieces that have a romantic feel, a couple that are upbeat, some opera style pieces, compositions you might hear in a coffee shop, and one with a European flair. jb_pr A wide variety of instruments are also represented, adding to the blended yet unified feel of the album.

There were several tracks I thoroughly enjoyed, and two that just weren’t for me. I loved:

  • 1. I found this track to be calming and peaceful.
  • 2. Well, because I adore Sting, this one was a no brainer.
  • 5. This is such a fun track. It’s got an upbeat Spanish tempo. It sounds playful and seems to tell a story.
  • 11. While listening to this track, I feel like I’m walking down a small cobblestone street somewhere in Italy.

And to be fair, these are the two tracks that were well done but just weren’t my style:

  • 6. While this is well done, I prefer the original … it’s just how I am (more here).
  • 12. I like Regina Spektor and expected to like this track. I’m not sure of exactly just what it was, but something didn’t work for me.

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed the album. Joshua Bell is amazing … but from his amazing biography, we should know that. If you’re looking for a dinner party, background music type album, I highly recommend Joshua Bell’s At Home With Friends.

Want more? Here’s a link to Joshua’s website, as well as his Facebook fan page. Widgets more your thing? Then you must check this out, too! Joshua will also appear on the Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien on October 2nd.


Note: As mentioned above, I received a copy of At Home With Friends from One2One Network in exchange for my review. The opinions expressed above are mine and mine alone. If you want to know more about my thoughts and policies on product reviews, go here.


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