- Whole lotta Rod: get the complete American Songbook box set.
Set against the laconic, cocktail-friendly productions of vets Richard Perry and Phil Ramone, Stewart's performances seem strangely detached throughout. Even when offered the chance of some real human interaction on a pair of ill-conceived duets with Cher (who at least attempts to bring some dramatic flair to "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered") and Queen Latifah (whose recent turn in Chicago informs the title track), Stewart seems almost blissfully unaware of their presence. These are songs that virtually demand to be acted out, not phoned in. Brilliant vocal performances often reinforce the notion of "the singer, not the song"; here that old adage sounds more like a suggestion of where to place the blame for this album's disappointments. --Jerry McCulley
I am sick of "Pop Idol" type pap that is being fed to us. It is great to hear somebody who can do it without being over-produced. Would any of those pop idols stand up and sing without need for overdubs, underdubs, scrubs and rubs?! I think not.
Great easy-listening, great in the car - although I do drive a Saab!
Yet, he took a chance last year; a gamble if you will with AMERICAN SONGBOOK and dazzled a whole new group of fans including my 73-year-old mom with age old classics ranging from: "You Go To My Head" and "The Way You Look Tonight."
Well, it obviously paid off; hence his latest effort.
In a word, this work is a gem; a true beauty proving not only to any and all critics of the spiky haired Scotsman he's certainly got what it takes; talent, and lots of it.
Take it from me, a faithful fan of over twenty-five years, SONGBOOK VOLUME II is a seamless compilation that demands a listen, or two, or three, with the possible exception of the last track, "My Favorite Things," this is a true musical masterpiece.
Stewart's soulful sound perfectly suits these age old beauties particularly "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered," a sultry, seductive duet with Cher, playfully crooning about forbidden love, not to mention, the title track, "As Time Goes By," proves another perfect fit with rapper/actress Queen Latifah. "Where or When," is equally flawless with haunting lyrics and a splash of longing wistfulness.
Enough said, listen for yourself...
Take a bow, Rod. By the way, I smell a Grammy...
However for the next album Rod lets have some of your own songs!