Hit Man: David Foster & Friends

by: David Foster

The stage is not David Foster's domain -- he is a creature of the studio, writing, producing, and arranging hits for countless artists. Many of those artists return their gratitude on Hit Man: David Foster & Friends, a CD/DVD set -- as all live albums are in the late 2000s -- that captures a rare concert by Foster at Las Vegas' Mandalay Bay in May 2008. It's a stroll through Foster's back catalog that is considerably more impressive on DVD than it is on CD: the DVD contains a whopping 30 songs and the CD a measly nine highlights, cutting out such singers as Michael Johns, Eric Benet, Andrea Bocelli, Babyface, the mighty Boz Scaggs, and the even mightier Barbra Streisand entirely. In other words, it's a live album designed for home theaters -- something that the crisp, clean, roomy production on the CD makes clear, too -- where it can be treated as the spectacle it was intended to be. Whether or not you consider this to be a spectacle is of course a matter of taste: if you would scream loudly for the opening strains of "Love Theme from St. Elmo's Fire" and scream even louder for Kenny G's cameo on the tune, then this is an album for you. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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