Rolling Stone - 8/8/913.5 Stars
- "...a moody album packed with some extraordinary, transcendent moments..."
Q - 8/914 Stars
- Excellent - "...the (Neville) family's most precious heirloom.."
Stereo Review (9/91) - Performance "Sumptuous" / Recording "Very good" - "...a special release...a gorgeous piece of mainstream music..."
New York Times (Publisher) - 1/1/92
"The solo album debut of the great New Orleans soul singer has the year's most sublime pop vocals."
Personnel: Daniel Kobialka, Dan Smiley, Patrice May, Jim Shallenberger, Gail Cruz, Pavel Farkas, Jeremy Cohen , Steven Gehl, Ron Erickson, Roy Malan, Nathan Rubin, Jeremy Constant (violin); Ruth Freeman, Jim Hurley, Roxann Jacobson, Basil Vendryes, Don Ehrlich, Nanci Severance, Becky Sebring, Susan Bates (viola); Dennis Karmazyn, Judiyaba, David Kadarauch, Thalia Moore, Allen Gove, Jenny Culp (cello); Angela Koregelos (flute); David Breeden (clarinet); Glen Gischthal (trumpet); Dave Krehbiel (French horn); Mark Lawrence (trombone).
Audio Mixers: George Massenburg; Nathaniel Kunkel.
Recording information: Conway Recording, Los Angeles, CA (03/1990-03/1991); Ocean Way Recording, Los Angeles, CA (03/1990-03/1991); Russian Hill Recording, San Francisco, CA (03/1990-03/1991); Skywalker Ranch, Marin County (03/1990-03/1991); Studio F, Los Angeles, CA (03/1990-03/1991); Ultrasonic Studios, New Orleans, LA (03/1990-03/1991).
Photographer: John Casado.
WARM YOUR HEART, Aaron Neville's 1991 A&M debut, finds the New Orleans crooner bringing his sweet, soulful voice to a collection of pop songs couched in lush production. The opener, a cover of Randy Newman's "Louisiana 1927," sets the stage for the star-studded proceedings to follow, with its arrangement by Van Dyke Parks and vocal help from Rita Coolidge and Linda Ronstadt (who also contributes production and arrangements throughout the album). Elsewhere Neville tackles tunes by John Hiatt, Burt Bacharach, Allen Toussaint, Jimmy Buffett, and even a stirring version of "Ave Maria."
Though the choice of material and sleek, polished studio treatments are clear attempts to push Neville toward commercial viability, the R&B lion retains all of his charm in this setting. His angelic tenor, which swoops and flutters like a bird, from delicate falsetto to full-throated passion, is in top form on the lovely ballad "With You in Mind" and Neville's own work-song-based "Angola Bound." WARM YOUR HEART succeeds on two levels--it has enough smooth sheen to satisfy fans of adult-contemporary R&B, and enough of Neville's undeniable talent, grace, and showmanship to please his old-school devotees.