On Jonathan Butler's N2K Encoded Music debut, Do You Love Me, he continues his jack-of-two-trades approach, balancing R&B-based vocal tunes with easy, acoustic guitar-based instrumentals. While it's a friendly enough listen, Butler here doesn't display a powerful enough mastery of either format. His guttural, heartfelt vocal style – reminiscent of Jon Secada – can make even the most Lionel Richie-esque lyric seem deeper than it is (even a new song with a title like "The Way You Look Tonight"), but few of the adult-oriented vocal tunes here are as memorable or hooky as his best-known hit, "Sarah Sarah." "Do You Love Me?," for instance, should be a deep, emotional moment, but comes off as a pleasant, easily dismissed conversation. Fortunately, "You Don't Belong to Me" has more lyrical bite, nicely underscored with a percussive guitar line underneath his angry tone. Butler should put more of that pointed energy into his play-it-safe instrumentals, which generally gallop along smoothly without building much steam. The best one can do with this sort of album is like Butler a lot.
Sammi Cheng Sau-Man is a Hong Kong Cantopop singer and actress. Having enjoyed much success in the Hong Kong music industry, Sammi has been known as a diva.
Steven Osborne continues his enthralling performances of Messiaen's piano works, with Martin Roscoe joining him for the two-piano Visions de l'Amen. The two of them are flawlessly matched in their strength, control, and range of expression, even though for much of the work the two piano parts are largely independent. They move together from twinkling, distant starlight passages to powerful, brilliant solar flare-like passages. Osborne and Roscoe, although painting large pictures in the seven movements, demand that attention be paid to the details in the music.
This album was released under the alias "Undercover Express" in Japan and was intended as a sideproject, not as a new Osaka Monaurail release. That's why it is easy to understand, how this album differs from the other releases. It's all instrumental cover-versions, and the overall sound is cleaner and jazzier than the typical Osaka Monaurail-sound. German distributor Unique Records decided to go with new grown popularity of Osaka Monaurail in Europe due to their incredible live-shows, that they have played in Europe for at least three years in a row at the time of this release, and released this as "Amen Brother" by Osaka Monaurail. Not aware of the story of this album, some listeners showed disappointment in the record (saying it was too different from it's predecessors due to the points mentioned above), but were convinced by the live-experience once and for all, which had this "misunderstanding" lose it's importance.