Nina Simone
I Put a Spell on You


5.0
classic

Review

by Guilherme Boldrin USER (15 Reviews)
February 28th, 2013 | 27 replies


Release Date: 1965 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Nina Simone bewitching with her, perharps, most concise record.

'I put a spell on you' is certainly one of the most famous albums by Nina Simone, American pianist and singer known for her especially emotional interpretations on a varied range of styles going from a more soul touch, through jazz and blues. By Its very diversified nature, this album is one of my favorites by her, it can be harsh and strong on some moments, and then very subtle and soft in others. It's truly a masterpiece in many senses.

Nina Simone is not delivering some virtuous range of screaming vocals, or some epic structured experimental effort, the thing here is more focused in the soft nuances among the notes, the fragile melodies and the singular tone of her voice. Even this way, she can sing very loud and emotional when the song asks for it. It's also very to important to stress her skills on piano as very high point in this album, just hear the final part of 'Tomorrow Is My Turn' or on the instrumental jazzy oriented tune 'Blues On Purpose'. What we got here are truly amazing performances of, I got to say, some of the most inspired tracks I’ve heard in long time.

'I put a spell on you' is a famous song, with many versions, including artists like Diamanda Galas and Marilyn Manson, and composed by the crazy jazz man Screamin' Jay Hawkins. I have, however, no fear to say Nina Simone is the best interpreter of this song, it has very impressive arrangements and beautiful vocal interpretation, giving it a more serious and dramatic sensation than the original, which is some kind of dramatic and sarcastic circus experience.

Another strong version included in this album is 'Ne Me Quitte Pas' a very famous French song wrote by Jacques Brel. Nina Simone interpretation, again here, leads the lyricism included on the song to perfection. It's the saddest song of the album and perhaps again, the best version of an incredible famous music.

I could highlight almost every song in this album, it feels complete with emotional ballads filled with beautiful melodies, strong piano harmonies and Nina Simone famous onomatopoeia improvisation in songs ends. 'July Tree' is the softest and most sensitive song on the album, while songs like 'One September Day' and 'You've Got To Learn' bring love themes as very inspired ballads. At the same time, this has strong blues and jazzy songs, with very inspired lyrics, as the women liberation-like themes on 'Marriage Is For Old Folks' and 'Gimme Some'. Here is a woman that used to suffer from domestic violence, singing wonderfully and with a very sense of fun about living in freedom. I got to enjoy this.

But, there is no way here to not point out some tunes, being 'Feeling Good' the most unforgettable music on the album. What we got here is a perfect song, by its definition, with Nina Simone singing alone in the beginning one of the most inspired lines I ever heard: “Birds flyin' high you know how I feel / Sun in the sky you know how I feel”. After that, the song explodes, with her band doing a close to perfection work, the brass riff is unforgettable so as Nina Simone interpretation. Truly a classic. 'Take Care Of Business', the last of song, is another remarkable moment of inspired beauty and strong vocals. There are castanets, a choir and a flamenco influenced rhythm, like if some pagan Spanish caravan had come inside a church, playing as a rhythm section for Nina Simone's somewhat gospel interpretation.

'I put a spell on you' is truly a masterpiece, and it's very close to be Nina Simone's best record, at least her most concise effort, I found it to be indispensable for any music fan, especially for who are on blues and jazz such as female vocals. C'mon! Just get it!



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user ratings (38)
Chart.
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Cygnatti
February 28th 2013


22347 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I like that one song, and I like dat RIYL section so hmm

Digging: Jerry Lee Lewis - Live at the Star Club, Hamburg

Hoppip
February 28th 2013


136 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This woman is enchanting.

Adash
February 28th 2013


1356 Comments


I spent 3 months in a flat with no internet and nothing but this and 5 Mozart CD's
Fell madly in love with this woman.

oubli
February 28th 2013


67 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Nina Simone seems to be kind of underrated here!

omnipanzer
February 28th 2013


21660 Comments


Looks like you might have a few typos, probably from spell check?

"diversification nature"
"strong on some moments, and them very subtle"
You might want to re-edit real quick sir.

ITsHxCTOASTER
February 28th 2013


2494 Comments


Sweet, me and my roomies have been listening to Nina Simone hard recently

omnipanzer
February 28th 2013


21660 Comments


I like the emotion you're putting into your review but you definitely need to edit it again and reword a few parts.

have an "I hope your going to fix this review" POS

YankeeDudel
February 28th 2013


9313 Comments


nine simone oh man

Digging: Land Of Kush - Against The Day

oubli
March 1st 2013


67 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

@omnipanzer hey there, thanks for the criticizing. I improved it a lot now, hope it's better. I'm a portuguese speaker, so i'm trying hard to improve my english... I'll be more careful!

Cygnatti
July 9th 2013


22347 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

gimme some is so explicit it's too funny

ExcentrifugalForz
March 9th 2014


1859 Comments


its comforting to know that some things never change

Cygnatti
June 24th 2014


22347 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

don't leave me

InfamousGrouse
August 30th 2014


3593 Comments


somebody review pastel blues plz

zakalwe
August 30th 2014


9117 Comments


Never gonna happen me man.


Digging: The dB's - Stands For Decibels

InfamousGrouse
August 30th 2014


3593 Comments


I'd step up to the plate myself but I could never do it justice

zakalwe
August 30th 2014


9117 Comments


I've pos'd both ya reviews, that approval score was a disgrace. Now write man write and stop these fuckers minds from turning to mash!!!

InfamousGrouse
August 30th 2014


3593 Comments


Not written anything in a long time and I was terrible at it in the first place

zakalwe
August 30th 2014


9117 Comments


Ok then

InfamousGrouse
August 30th 2014


3593 Comments


nah tbh in the past few days I've been contemplating writing something on Wire's 154 because it's a disgrace that doesn't have one

Pastel Blues is a bigger offence but still

zakalwe
August 30th 2014


9117 Comments


lol. I was obviously taking the piss there dude.
Them reviews are great, they really are.
You can express the subtleties better than half the berks around here and a write up for Nina means the candle will continue to burn.
It's win win son.



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