The Living Room Tour
First Appeared in The Music Box, July 2005, Volume 12, #7
Written by John Metzger
After performing at a variety of low-key environmental and political events, Carole King returned to the larger stage in 2004, and by surrounding herself with an array of quaint, household furnishings (such as a sofa, side tables, potted plants, and framed photographs), she managed to keep the ambience unusually intimate. Dubbed the "Living Room Tour," the shows provided King with an opportunity to highlight the many successes of her remarkable career. Backed sparsely by guitarists Gary Burr and Rudy Guess, she satisfyingly rummaged through large portions of her extraordinary catalogue and spanned the decades from her days penning pop gems in New York’s Brill Building (Pleasant Valley Sunday, Go Away Little Girl, and One Fine Day) to her definitive singer-songwriter fare of the ’70s (I Feel the Earth Move and You’ve Got a Friend).
King’s latest effort, the aptly titled, two-disc set The Living Room Tour, compiles the more memorable moments from a trio of shows held in 2004, and in a sense, the outing also doubles as a concise, retrospective collection. As impressive as its track listing is, however, the execution of the material — outside of a driving, gospel-blues-infused interpretation of Chains and tenderly touching renditions of It’s Too Late and So Far Away — is startlingly faulty. Like many veteran artists, the effects of aging have taken their toll upon King’s voice, and, at times, she strains considerably to reach the higher notes, emitting a raspy growl that too often isn’t well-suited to her songs. While these flaws might be forgivable in the less than stellar acoustics of a concert hall, the crisp, clarity of a digital recording makes them all the more apparent.
The Living Room Tour is available from
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2005 The Music Box