Visions Of Love

Jim Brickman

Windham Hill Records, 1998

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


I know I'm helping to perpetuate a myth here, but let's get one thing absolutely clear at the start: Visions Of Love is not - repeat, not - a true album from Jim Brickman. Yes, his hand guides all the music behind this disc, but as a performer, he's present on a whopping two tracks. So, if you're picking this disc up because you want to hear Brickman's work, you're going to be disappointed.

All of this said, Visions Of Love is a hauntingly beautiful collection of love songs from a collective of artists, with very few mis-steps along the way. If you're an emotional person, you will find this disc difficult to listen to at times, because the romantic power of the disc is that incredibly strong.


Possibly the two best-known tracks on the disc, "The Gift" (featuring Brickman on piano, and Collin Raye and Susan Ashton on vocals) and Anne Cochran's "After All These Years," are still astounding, even if you've heard them so many times on the adult-contemporary stations. But, what may surprise people is that these are not the best songs on the disc - though "After All These Years" certainly ranks up there with them.

The song that captured my heart, believe it or not, was a break-up song - namely, Janis Ian's "Getting Over You". The emotion all of us have faced at some point in our lives when we've lost love is captured in a powerful four-minute slab of music that is sure to have tears running down your face. Why this song didn't return Ian to the collective attention of the music industry and the music-buying public, I honestly don't know. (A close second for "best song" is a tie between Cochran's number and "Still In Love" from Larry Stewart.)

Brickman's only other performing appearance on Visions Of Love comes in the form of the only instrumental on the disc, "Partners In Crime," performed with Dave Koz. This track marks the first time that Brickman's music sounds like it could have been classified under the "smooth jazz" category - and I'm not so certain I like that concept.

There is only one track on Visions Of Love which does not particularly work for me - namely, Amanda Upchurch's cover of James Taylor's "Shower The People". It's a nice try, but it doesn't capture the true essence of the song. It's almost as if Upchurch tried to put a modern spin on the track, when all it's needed all along is the folk touch that Taylor provided. Still, not a bad average.

There are numerous other artists on Visions Of Love I've not mentioned, and I don't mean to slight them, but this really is the kind of disc that the listener needs to pick up and hear for themselves. Certain tracks will stand out for each person, and that list will differ among us all. But the general feel is that this disc, as a whole, is a wonderful collection of love songs, many of which will probably make it onto the playlists of wedding parties. Don't think of Visions Of Love as the latest Jim Brickman disc; think of it as a journey into adult-contemporary music.

Rating: A-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2001 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Windham Hill Records, and is used for informational purposes only.