Tuesday, 23 September 2014
REVIEW: TONY BENNETT & LADY GAGA-CHEEK TO CHEEK
New York, New York! You're going to love this one. 'Cheek To Cheek' is so good you'll want to play it twice if you're feeling this. In the city that gets no sleep, neither will you. Grinning ear to ear and dancing 'till dawn. This Broadway success is about to take a trip to the Las Vegas strip for an extended residency. Yes, ladies and gentlemen the Rat Pack of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jnr may be gone, but we still have one boy kicking it his way. No not the young great Michael Buble, but the forever young legend Tony Bennett. The man that left his 'Heart In San Francisco', all 'Because Of You'. This man has been recording and recording and working and working and has been having a ball recentely dueting with everyone from Willie Nelson to Queen Latifah. The American legend even took it a little south last year for 'Viva Duets' to follow his American sequel pairing. Still keeping it fresco fresh, the recording artist who even paints in what spare time he has has got one more trick up his cuff-linked sleeve. After performing 'The Lady Is A Tramp', with Lady Gaga herself, the pairs perfect chemistry and classic reworking of a timeless gem itself has lead to a full album of American classics recorded in that standard styling. Yes, you read that right! Lady Gaga has done an album with Tony Bennett...and far from a 'Bad Romance' this is Ra, Ra great. After 'The Fame' and all the diamond, million selling success and celebrity exposure that came before it, this lady finally finds her true calling. It's almost like her previous, powerful pop career was really her 'Poker Face', because right now you have to hand it to her because she's holding all the cards. Gaga always felt like a throwback, even when she was stunning the fashion world and vegetarians alike. From her recent classic cameo appearance as a hallmark, throwback waitress to the 50's in the 'Sin City' sequel this is truly a dame to kill for..and with Tony she's about to shoot them down like Frankie's daughter.
And just you wait until you hear her rendition of 'Bang, Bang' that little Nancy turned into a classic, so much so that Tarantino picked it up for it's 'Kill Bill' resurgence. He, or his 'Sin' directing friend Robert Rodriguez need to hear this one. This baby shoots everyone down with her sensual and smouldering pistol shot that shows she has the blonde Sinatra boots made for walking all over this genres grand greatness. Bang, bang indeed! This cover of a classic is a modern day great worthy of the pasts legendary legacy like Norah Jones take on country's best Dolly Parton's 'Jolene'. A cover even better than Jack White's gender and genre crossover classic. As a matter of fact the strangest, crossover collaboration album since Miss Jones teamed up with Green Day's Billie-Joe Armstrong 'Forevery', (in an album covering the records from the brothers 'Songs Our Daddy Taught Us' album) is also the best. 'Anything Goes' on 'Cheek To Cheek' like these outstanding opening classics that make this duo a gala affair. Side to side this man and womans voices dance perfectly together cheek to cheek and even when Gaga goes it alone she proves she was either born in the wrong era, or like Buble she's going to bring it all back with her own solo streak. As she sings "Why the Gods above me, who must be in the know/Think so little of me, they allow you to go/When you're near, there's such an air of spring about it/I can hear a lark somewhere, begin to sing about it/There's no love song finer, but how strange the change from major to minor/Everytime we say goodbye" on Cole Porter's 'Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye' classic you can hear all the power and pain behind this puncuated number in the depth of her desperation. As a matter of fact it may be this album or her greatest career performance in a classic catalogue that is now as diligently diverse as it is digitally dynamic.
Mr. Bennett's here too though let's not forget. Just as prominent and the catalyst that makes this a charismatic, chemistry filled classic. On Sunny Skylar's 'Don't Wait Too Long', he doesn't waste a second in giving classic credit to the legend and on the formidable 'Firefly' explosion the epic talent shows the eager, energetic young Gaga just how its done. This 'Nature Boy' knows how to rework all the greats, showing Sammy, Dino and Frank that he can cement his legacy right next to those 'Four For Texas' boys and the King, Nat Cole with his ability to move with these modern changing iTune times, but also keep to the true testament of the traditions that came before he became a real Soprano. 'I Can't Give You Anything but Love', 'Goody Goody' and the foot stepping 'I Won't Dance' continues this two-stepping trend as this Tony shows his 'Sophisticated Lady' the 'Lush Life'. 'They All Laughed' sings the new chairman of the board, but nobody is going to chuckle at this classic peculiar but perfect pair. They say "there may be trouble ahead" but these two "face the music and dance" like neither of them have ever cut a rug before. This sweeps everything else off the table and gets really pretty as a picture on 'But Beautiful' as Bennett swings "Love is funny, or it's sad/Or it's quiet, or it's mad/It's a good thing or it's bad/But beautiful" for all the lovers. As they close classically they say it all with, 'It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)', proving that real record lie in the swinging good ole times of the past that we bring back today everytime we hear that old Broadway sound that can light up New York and the rest of the world watching even brighter than Times Square in New Year. It's a new day and Bennett and his young musical marriage date are here to stay tonight. Hear all about it from the Cher 'Moonstruck' newspaper headline cover to the broadsheet and billboard success. These two will be swinging and singing together forever 'Cheek To Cheek'! TIM DAVID HARVEY.