Mica Paris "duets" with Jimmy Ruffin on update of classic

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    (November 1, 2021) The late Jimmy Ruffin’s 1966 gem, “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted,” has remained a resonant ode to loneliness in the five-plus decades since its release. Many artists across genres have put their spin on the soul classic, and British songstress Ruby Turner even duetted with Ruffin in the late ‘80s on a timely rendition.

    Fellow UK soulstress Mica Paris’ first treatment of “Brokenhearted” came in 2005 on her Soul Classics CD. Now, she’s collaborated with London’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra to “duet” with Ruffin’s original vocal on a version for the upcoming album, A Symphony of Soul. Since Natalie Cole created a phenomenon in 1991 via a posthumous duet with her father on “Unforgettable,” it’s sometimes difficult to ascertain the musical merit of such “collaborations” without being distracted by the novelty factor.

    (November 1, 2021) The late Jimmy Ruffin’s 1966 gem, “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted,” has remained a resonant ode to loneliness in the five-plus decades since its release. Many artists across genres have put their spin on the soul classic, and British songstress Ruby Turner even duetted with Ruffin in the late ‘80s on a timely rendition.

    Fellow UK soulstress Mica Paris’ first treatment of “Brokenhearted” came in 2005 on her Soul Classics CD. Now, she’s collaborated with London’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra to “duet” with Ruffin’s original vocal on a version for the upcoming album, A Symphony of Soul. Since Natalie Cole created a phenomenon in 1991 via a posthumous duet with her father on “Unforgettable,” it’s sometimes difficult to ascertain the musical merit of such “collaborations” without being distracted by the novelty factor.

    Thankfully, Paris is an ideal choice for the scenario here. Her voice has a gutsy timber not far removed from Ruffin’s, and her trading of lines with his is done in a straight-ahead, no-frills fashion which doesn’t attempt to overshadow any of his compelling delivery. Only in the last few bars of the song does she embellish a bit with a few subtle riffs to complete the proceedings. Instrumentally, the RPO’s tasteful and full-bodied strings enhance the original recording while giving it just enough of an extra edge to sound new again (sans any fancy effects).

    Check out the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra with Mica Paris and the late Jimmy Ruffin on the new recording of “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted” below!

    by Justin Kantor

    The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
    ft. Jimmy Ruffin and Mica Paris
    "What Becomes Of A Brokenhearted"

     
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