I was just sayin' on my home page how out of touch I have been with the music scene and how much I miss having music in my life. With all the chaos that seems to be part of our daily life around here, sometimes it seems like we get overwhelmed by the constant NOISE that seems to follow us everywhere we go! I used to find music relaxing. Now it seems like ANY noise just ups the stress level, whcih is already too high as it is.
So I was really happy when I was asked to review this new CD by Harry Connick Jr., for a few reasons. First, I love Harry Connick Jr. He's good looking AND he can sing! How could I possibly be stressed out by that combo? Second, I really love all of the songs on this new release, called Your Songs. I know I am dating myself by admitting this, but I KNOW all of these songs. They are classics! Third, the music is easy to listen to...no heavy bass beat, no screaming guitars, no loud, offensive lyrics. Just good music sung in a laid back and easy going way. Totally relaxing. Just what I needed to ease myself back into the music scene.
Harry Connick Jr. has such a smooth voice (it ought to be good, he's been singing since he was 3 and made his first public debut when he was 6!), anything he sings sounds good. But his voice really lends itself to some of these older tunes, first made famous by such artists as Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and Roberta Flack. That's especially true with tracks like All the Way and Mona Lisa, which benefit from the big band orchestra used as backup to accompany Connick's vocals.
There were a few tracks I did not love, like Harry's rendition of Just the Way You Are, originally sung by Billy Joel. It just seemed lackluster to me. Flat. No personality. Sorry, Harry...that song just isn't you. And the other track that left me kind of bumming was the Elvis classic, Can't Help Falling in Love With You. I was curious to see how it would go over when another artist tried to sing it...it didn't. Go over I mean. Maybe it's just me, but I don't think there is a person on this earth that could ever do that song justice. It's an Elvis song and only the King can bring the depth of feeling to it that makes it a great song.
Tracks I big, red puffy heart love? Close to You (Carpenters original from the 70's) and Roberta Flack's hit First Time Ever I Saw Your Face. HC was was able to make both of those his own, but without losing the vibe and the soul that made the original versions so good.
All in all, I really do love the CD and have spent the last 2 days fully enoying it. Your Songs is a worthy effort by Harry Connick Jr. The CD showcases his talent with songs we all know and love in a big band setting that is true to Harry's style. For me, it's a welcome change of pace from top 40 and hip hop noise. And BONUS!!! Harry is doing the rounds to promote the CD, so you can see him on several TV programs in the next few weeks! I know! Now you can stare into his gorgeous blue eyes while you listen to him sing (and dig his subtle Louisiana accent when he talks).
Just don't get caught doin' the I don't know the words so I'll fake it Oprah move (read here for explanation). Not cool.
Here's where you can see Mr. Connick in the next few weeks.
9/25 – Oprah “Live Friday”
9/28 – Today Show
9/29 – The View
9/30 – Imus in the Morning
9/30 – Letterman
10/1 – Today Show
Week of 10/5 – Rachael Ray
After you watch him on TV you can run out and buy his CD. It's available at all the retail stores. He'll thank you, I'm sure. Probably not in person, but you can pretend if you want to.