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4.7 out of 5 stars24
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 27 September 2003
I bought this album after falling on the bandwagon of liking Norah Jones and then Diana Krall. I bought it without knowing anything about Stacey and have been pleasantly suprised. It has the kinds tunes you would imagine in romantic films or classy jazz bars. The nice thing is that it has songs you will know, and they are sung in Stacey's own way. It works, it's relaxing, charming and very much worth sticking on a rainy sunday with your lover near by!
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on 8 August 2009
Feel Good - Classic FM

The voice of Stacey Kent has such a soothing, calming effect that one cannot help but relax. Her phrasing is very creative and you`ll want to listen over and over!
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on 13 August 2004
Stacey Kent never intended to be a jazz singer. She was on course for a career in academia, but through an unexpected twist of fate, she found herself enrolled at the Guildhall School of Music with Jim Tomlinson, who would later become her husband and musical soul mate. The rest, as they say, is history. Today, the London-based New Yorker has six bestselling solo albums to her credit, a clutchful of jazz awards on her mantelpiece, and continues to perform to sellout audiences across the world.
Ms Kent's unique, distinctive style could best be described as classic chic; the musical equivalent of the "little black dress". Just as the little black dress has the power to let a woman's personality shine through, Ms Kent's delicately nuanced interpretations of the Great American Songbook eloquently showcase the complex melodies and classy, sophisticated lyrics of American popular music during its golden ages.
Vocally, Ms Kent has never sounded better. And there is so much to admire: her dulcet-toned mezzo soprano, with its shimmery jazz lilt and translucent vibrato, her innate sense of swing and instinctive timing, her subtly shaded line readings, and the exquisite delicacy of her phrasing. A master storyteller and communicator, Ms Kent also brings a comparative literature graduate's acute interpretive skills to her singing, eschewing shopworn sentimentality for a piquant romantic lyricism.
Ms Kent's latest album, "The Boy Next Door", is a heartfelt and reverent tribute to her musical heroes, which include legendary crooners Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, octogenarian jazz master Dave Brubeck and Manhattan cabaret doyen Bobby Short. The stylish jazz chanteuse's repertoire also finds her working outside the Great American Songbook for the first time, with contributions from latter-day pop songwriters Burt Bacharach, Paul Simon and Carole King. Ms Kent puts her own indelible stamp on each number as she weaves her magic on a delectable collection of pop-jazz standards that encompass infatuation, seduction, love, loss and reminiscence.
"The Best Is Yet To Come", the opening track of this album, begins with a beguiling quietness. Abetted by Dave Chamberlain's supple, tantalizing bass line, Ms Kent's wonderfully lithe voice floats across the melody in light, flirtatious tones. "The best is yet to come, and babe won't it be fine," croons Ms Kent seductively, and you know she's on to a winner. The cheeky uptown swagger and brash bravado that Tony Bennett brought to the number have been replaced by a relaxed, confident sexuality as she sashays appealingly through Cy Coleman and Carolyn Leigh's zesty, jazz-inflected tune, which also features a brisk, scintillating piano solo by David Newton.
"The Trolley Song", so long regarded as Judy Garland's signature tune, has been dusted off the shelves and given a new life by Matt Home's punchy, throbbing beat. Ms Kent registers a thrilling sense of giddy exhilaration here, with Tomlinson's playful obbligatos dancing around her sparkling vocals. As she peals joyfully through the Irving Berlin swinger, you can just imagine Ms Kent, with her elfin figure and puckish smile, as the fresh-faced ingénue whose adventure on public transportation would inevitably change her life, and Tomlinson as the dapper, dashing gentleman who sweeps Ms Kent off her feet.
"Too Darn Hot", Cole Porter's second-act showstopper from "Kiss Me, Kate", pulses with a palpable sense of urgency that underpins the edgy, syncopated rhythms of the song. Ms Kent's vocals are preceded by a catchy, insinuating jazz riff, and she infuses the number with a restless, insistent energy. Her effervescence and vivacity are a perfect match for Porter's vocal dexterity, wit, warmth and humor; nowhere is this more evident than in "You're The Top", which in her capable hands, is transformed into a patter song.
In a funky, bluesy version of "Makin' Whoopee", Ms Kent pounces on the dire warning to would-be Romeos lurking beneath the song's playful surface: that once the honeymoon is over, marriage can become a trap from which there is no escape. Or in the language of song: "Now don't forget folks, that's what you get folks, for makin' whoopee," she notes wryly, and with a knowing smile.
If the upbeat numbers on the album showcase Ms Kent and her formidable jazz sidemen at their collective best, it is the ballads which highlight the sublime musical partnership she has forged with her husband.
Ms Kent brings a slight shade of huskiness and just a touch of midnight intimacy to "Say It Isn't So" as she implores her lover to come clean, directly and painfully, with Tomlinson's horn providing a haunting melodic counterpoint to her fragile, melancholic lamentations.
"People Will Say We're In Love" has been reconfigured as a sultry, breathless bossa nova, where Ms Kent's demure vocals are elegantly framed by Colin Oxley's warm, flesh-toned chords and thoughtfully punctuated by Tomlinson's lustrous solo.
"'Tis Autumn" is a lush, gentle meditation on the arrival of fall, which Ms Kent infuses with the enveloping warmth and softness of a pashmina worn on a crisp October morning. Taken at a languorous pace, it is beautifully lucid and sensuously dreamy.
Ms Kent receives impeccable support from her sleek, urbane jazz quintet, whose rhythmic fluency is further enhanced by the tasteful, literate arrangements. Newton and Tomlinson, both accomplished musicians in their own right, also display hitherto unknown musical talents as they join Curtis Schwartz to provide tongue-in-cheek backing vocals for Ms Kent's deliciously bouncy rendition of "Ooh-Shoo-Be-Doo-Bee".
It is difficult to imagine Ms Kent's future releases surpassing "The Boy Next Door". Fortunately, she has provided live audiences with a glimpse of what may be in store: a blissfully idyllic "Tea for Two", a quietly contemplative "What Are You Doing For The Rest Of Your Life?" and a touchingly poignant "Garden In The Rain". Could it be that, as she sings, "the best is yet to come?" I certainly hope so!
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"The Boy Next Door," by American-born British songster Stacey Kent, is a collection of songs associated with singers she admires, from Tony Bennett to Frank Sinatra. She's into jazz and pop, even a little light rock, and jazzy pop; her light,clear voice makes light work of them all, too, though, oddly enough, every single inspiration Kent cites in this album is male. Never mind, she opens on a jazzy take of Tony Bennett's version of Coleman and Leigh's "The Best Is Yet To Come," and flirts with Ray Charles' rocking "Makin' Whoopee." Does a lovely version of James Taylor's homespun "You've Got a Friend," by Carole King. Detours to Broadway with "People Will Say We're In Love," by Rogers and Hammerstein, as done by the big voice of Gordon MacRae. Borrows Cole Porter's "You're The Top" from the illustrious cabaret artist Bobby Short. However, Louis Armstrong's "I Got It Bad," as recorded by Duke Ellington, may have been a mistake for her. Seems to me that song's been recorded by some of the biggest, baddest girls in jazz, and Kent may be a trifle light of voice, and light in the life experience department, to be trying to compete with them. But, all in all, you could almost say that in this album, at least, she makes a virtue of not writing her own material.

The album, as arranged and produced by her English husband Jim Tomlinson, who also plays saxophone and backs her on vocals, is a charmer. Their collaborative style of music making is reminiscent of the great Lester Young/Billie Holiday duets, or, more contemporaneously, John Pizzarelli and Jessica Molaskey. Kent's voice, and that of Tomlinson's sax, bill and coo like honeymooners. At any rate, BOY NEXT DOOR achieved Gold Album status in France in September, 2006, shortly after its release. I've been lucky enough to catch them in person a couple of times, at New York's famous Algonquin Hotel, and what charming evenings they were.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 20 July 2014
Stacey Kent and band have produced an album of jazz and pop standards that lovers of stylish jazzy cabaret music can't but help love. Song selection, production and performances are all first rate. Stacey's vocal style is of the breathy low -key variety. Not inclined to emote, she prefers to deliver her lyrics in a heartfelt yet slightly reserved, and thoughtful fashion. If you are looking for vocal flights of fancy or extremes of emotion,forget it, that's not Stacey. If however you enjoy clearly enunciated lyrics sung with a subtle mix of wit and sincerity, Stacey is definitely for you.

'The Boy Next Door' is a fairly straight -ahead affair but that is not to demean it as an enterprise. The band do a great job of providing Stacey oh -so tasty support, it would not hurt to hear more of their individual solo capacities. The arrangements whist subtle are a mini master class in the less is more school of thought. When on tracks like 'Ooh -Shoo-Be-Doo-Bee' the band gets into gear we get a idea of what they would really sound like when given the chance.

So, a very good album. On its own terms this is one very superior album. Great versions of 'What The World Needs Now' and 'You're The Top' by the way. Reccomended.
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on 27 December 2011
Having seen Stacey perform during her recent tour, I wanted to find another CD of her work as a gift for my wife, who is also a big fan. I was delighted to see, therefore, that this collection from 2003 had been remastered, and comprised a selection of standards (originally by a variety of other artists), each given Stacey's inimitable stamp. This disc has already been given considerable playing time at home, and I daresay will be accompanying us on our travels. It is a total pleasure to relax with at home; we had it playing in the background during a dinnerparty, and then had to play it all over again as guests demanded to appreciate it properly.

I understand (from what Stacey said during a recent concert) that this winter she and her husband Jim Tomlinson hope to compose more songs with Ishiguro. We can only for more modern classics like 'Breakfast on the Morning Tram' to emerge in due course.
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on 8 May 2009
I discovered Stacey Kent on a flight from Aukland to Singapore and was instantly bowled over. Stacey brings the qualities and values of the likes of Peggy Lee to the twenty first century. Stunning performances in English and French. She may not be Ella or Billie yet, but she has time on her side. I wait for more. Try Breakfast on the Morning Tram too.
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on 16 August 2004
Stacey Kent never intended to be a jazz singer. She was on course for a career in academia, but through an unexpected twist of fate, she found herself enrolled at the Guildhall School of Music with Jim Tomlinson, who would later become her husband and musical soul mate. The rest, as they say, is history. Today, the London-based New Yorker has six bestselling solo albums to her credit, a clutchful of jazz awards on her mantelpiece, and continues to perform to sellout audiences across the world.
Ms Kent's unique, distinctive style could best be described as classic chic; the musical equivalent of the "little black dress". Just as the little black dress has the power to let a woman's personality shine through, Ms Kent's delicately nuanced interpretations of the Great American Songbook eloquently showcase the complex melodies and classy, sophisticated lyrics of American popular music during its golden ages.
Vocally, Ms Kent has never sounded better. And there is so much to admire: her dulcet-toned mezzo soprano, with its shimmery jazz lilt and translucent vibrato, her innate sense of swing and instinctive timing, her subtly shaded line readings, and the exquisite delicacy of her phrasing. A master storyteller and communicator, Ms Kent also brings a comparative literature graduate's acute interpretive skills to her singing, eschewing shopworn sentimentality for a piquant romantic lyricism.
Ms Kent's latest album, "The Boy Next Door", is a heartfelt and reverent tribute to her musical heroes, which include legendary crooners Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, octogenarian jazz master Dave Brubeck and Manhattan cabaret doyen Bobby Short. The stylish jazz chanteuse's repertoire also finds her working outside the Great American Songbook for the first time, with contributions from latter-day pop songwriters Burt Bacharach, Paul Simon and Carole King. Ms Kent puts her own indelible stamp on each number as she weaves her magic on a delectable collection of pop-jazz standards that encompass infatuation, seduction, love, loss and reminiscence.
"The Best Is Yet To Come", the opening track of this album, begins with a beguiling quietness. Abetted by Dave Chamberlain's supple, tantalizing bass line, Ms Kent's wonderfully lithe voice floats across the melody in light, flirtatious tones. "The best is yet to come, and babe won't it be fine," croons Ms Kent seductively, and you know she's on to a winner. The cheeky uptown swagger and brash bravado that Tony Bennett brought to the number have been replaced by a relaxed, confident sexuality as she sashays appealingly through Cy Coleman and Carolyn Leigh's zesty, jazz-inflected tune, which also features a brisk, scintillating piano solo by David Newton.
"The Trolley Song", so long regarded as Judy Garland's signature tune, has been dusted off the shelves and given a new life by Matt Home's punchy, throbbing beat. Ms Kent registers a thrilling sense of giddy exhilaration here, with Tomlinson's playful obbligatos dancing around her sparkling vocals. As she peals joyfully through the Irving Berlin swinger, you can just imagine Ms Kent, with her elfin figure and puckish smile, as the fresh-faced ingénue whose adventure on public transportation would inevitably change her life, and Tomlinson as the dapper, dashing gentleman who sweeps Ms Kent off her feet.
"Too Darn Hot", Cole Porter's second-act showstopper from "Kiss Me, Kate", pulses with a palpable sense of urgency that underpins the edgy, syncopated rhythms of the song. Ms Kent's vocals are preceded by a catchy, insinuating jazz riff, and she infuses the number with a restless, insistent energy. Her effervescence and vivacity are also a perfect match for Porter's vocal dexterity, wit, warmth and humor; nowhere is this more evident than in "You're The Top", which in her capable hands, is transformed into a patter song.
In a funky, bluesy version of "Makin' Whoopee", Ms Kent pounces on the dire warning to would-be Romeos lurking beneath the song's playful surface: that once the honeymoon is over, marriage can become a trap from which there is no escape. Or in the language of song: "Now don't forget folks, that's what you get folks, for makin' whoopee," she notes with a wry smile.
If the upbeat numbers on the album showcase Ms Kent and her formidable jazz sidemen at their collective best, it is the ballads which highlight the sublime musical partnership she has forged with her husband.
Ms Kent brings a slight shade of huskiness and just a touch of midnight intimacy to "Say It Isn't So" as she implores her lover to come clean, directly and painfully, with Tomlinson's horn providing a haunting melodic counterpoint to her fragile, melancholic lamentations.
"People Will Say We're In Love" has been reconfigured as a sultry, breathless bossa nova, where Ms Kent's demure vocals are elegantly framed by Colin Oxley's warm, flesh-toned chords and thoughtfully punctuated by Tomlinson's lustrous solo.
"'Tis Autumn" is a lush, gentle meditation on the arrival of fall, which Ms Kent infuses with the enveloping warmth and softness of a pashmina worn on a crisp October morning. Taken at a languorous pace, it is beautifully lucid and sensuously dreamy.
Ms Kent receives impeccable support from her sleek, urbane jazz quintet, whose rhythmic fluency is further enhanced by the tasteful, literate arrangements. Newton and Tomlinson, both accomplished musicians in their own right, also display hitherto unknown musical talents as they join Curtis Schwartz to provide tongue-in-cheek backing vocals for Ms Kent's deliciously bouncy rendition of "Ooh-Shoo-Be-Doo-Bee".
It is difficult to imagine Ms Kent's future releases surpassing "The Boy Next Door". Fortunately, she has provided live audiences with a glimpse of what may be in store: a blissfully idyllic "Tea for Two", a quietly contemplative "What Are You Doing For The Rest Of Your Life?" and a touchingly poignant "Garden In The Rain". Could it be that, as she sings, "the best is yet to come?" I certainly hope so!
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 4 December 2010
I played the clips before purchasing and was impressed enough to buy the cd and I have definitely not been disappointed. From first to last this album is wonderful. Just what I wanted. I bought another as a gift and I am absolutely certain they will enjoy this as much as I do.
The songs are almost entirely well known and to have this selection on one album sung so well is just, well, brilliant. :)
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on 12 January 2012
I heard Stacey kent singing on the radio one evening and loved her voice. It prompted me to buy 2 of her CDs from amazon and i havent been disappointed with them. Mellow a little nostalgic but mostly easy on the ear and gentle for those afternoons when you just want to chill. A pleasure.
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