Elvis Presley with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra – The Wonder Of You (2016) [HDTracks FLAC 24bit/96kHz]

Elvis Presley with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra – The Wonder Of You (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 51:32 minutes | 1.06 GB | Genre: Pop, Rock
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks.com | Front Cover | © RCA Records
Recorded: Abbey Road Studios, London, England.

The Wonder Of You: Elvis Presley With The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra presents the iconic artist’s unmistakable voice and most dramatic original performances augmented with lush new orchestral accompaniment. Recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London with acclaimed producers Don Reedman and Nick Patrick, the album spans a variety of musical styles that Elvis embraced, from rock and gospel to country and ballads. Featuring beloved Presley classics along with several surprises, standout tracks include a sultry new version of “A Big Hunk O’ Love,” the glorious “Amazing Grace,” the heartfelt emotion of “Kentucky Rain” and a stunning new take on the classic “Always On My Mind.” The new album is the follow-up to the global phenomenon If I Can Dream: Elvis Presley With The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, released in 2015.

The Wonder of You is a sequel in the truest sense: it delivers more of the same thing that made the 2015 album If I Can Dream into a surprise hit around the globe. The gimmick behind both of the albums is taking original Elvis Presley vocal performances and setting them to brand-new orchestral arrangements from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. The Wonder of You isn’t as splashy as its predecessor, lacking duets with Michael Bublé and Il Volo (the bonus track, “Just Pretend,” does feature Helene Fischer), and it also doesn’t contain quite as many rockers as If I Can Dream. All this means The Wonder of You is thoroughly middlebrow, largely consisting of ballads and soft pop tunes, all given pompous pops arrangements. Occasionally, the new versions aren’t too far away from the originals — usually, this would be for such ’70s Vegas showstoppers as “I Just Can’t Help Believin’” — but there’s still a dramatic disconnect between Presley’s vocal performances and the cheerfully cheesy orchestrations, particularly on numbers like “Kentucky Rain” and “Suspicious Minds,” recordings that benefited from the interaction of Elvis and the musicians in Chips Moman’s American Sound Studio. To the creators of The Wonder of You, this kind of musical interplay is a mere nicety: all that matters is the power of Presley’s performance, which the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra accentuates. It, like If I Can Dream, is executed well — the separation between the old tapes and new performance is seamless — but the concept is misbegotten and the results are tacky, a record that celebrates Presley the persona instead of Elvis the musician. —AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

1 A Big Hunk o’ Love 02:21
2 I’ve Got a Thing About You Baby 02:34
3 Suspicious Minds 03:44
4 Don’t 03:09
5 I Just Can’t Help Believin’ 04:34
6 Just Pretend 04:05
7 Love Letters 02:54
8 Amazing Grace 03:45
9 Starting Today 03:10
10 Kentucky Rain 04:03
11 Memories 03:14
12 Let It Be Me 03:25
13 Always on My Mind 03:38
14 The Wonder of You 02:31
15 Just Pretend (duet with Helene Fischer) 04:05

Elvis Presley – Vocals
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Steve Sidwell – Conductor, String Arrangements, Brass Arrangement
Robin Smith – Conductor, String Arrangements, String Samples
Joe Babcock, Andy Caine, Dolores Edgin, Lance Ellington, Mary Greene, Miriam Grey, Ginger Holladay, Mary Holladay, The Imperials, The Jordanaires, Millie Kirkham, Sonja Montgomery, June Page, Susan Pilkington, Andrew Playfoot, Sandy Posey, Temple Riser, Phoebe Street, J.D. Sumner & the Stamps, The Sweet Inspirations, Jamie Talbot, Donna Thatcher, Kathy Westmoreland, Hurshel Wiginton, Shena Winchester – Vocals, Vocals (Background)
Nigel Barr – Trombone (Bass)
David Bishop – Sax (Baritone)
Bill Black, Steve Pearce – Bass
David Briggs, Charlie McCoy, Jochem van der Saag – Organ
Dudley Brooks, Floyd Cramer, Glen D. Hardin, Pete Murray – Piano
James Burton, Dennis Linde, Scotty Moore, John Parricelli, Tommy Tedesco, Reggie Young – Guitar
Ben Castle – Sax (Tenor)
Helene Fischer – Vocals
D.J. Fontana, Ralph Salmins – Drums
Simon Gardner, Paul Spong, Ryan Quigley – Trumpet
Nigel Hitchcock – Sax (Alto)
Nick Patrick – Keyboards, Percussion
Don Reedman – Guitar, Percussion
Alistair White, Andy Wood – Trombone