Monday, October 19, 2009

Review: Harry Connick, Jr., "Your Songs"

I'm a Harry Connick fan. I'm a big Harry Connick fan. I've loved his work since I heard the soundtrack to When Harry Met Sally, many years ago. So when One2One Network offered a chance to review his latest album, "Your Songs", I jumped at it. I figured it would become yet another of my favorites, like so much of his other work has.

As much as I hate to say it, that just didn't happen. In this album, Harry puts his own spin on standards such as "Besame Mucho" and "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face". He also covers more recent fare such as "Just the Way You Are", "Your Song", and "And I Love Her". Much to my chagrin, most of the songs struck me as having a serious lounge lizard vibe rather than the funky piano-based jazz I've come to know and love from Harry. "Some Enchanted Evening" sounded to me for all the world like something you'd expect to hear in a campy Vegas show. And while there are some songs that are classic and timeless and can be well done by a variety of singers, some of the songs on here don't fall in that category. "Just the Way You Are", for instance - I grew up with the Billy Joel version, and as far as I'm concerned, that's a Billy Joel song. When anyone else performs it, no matter who, no matter how good they are, it's just a knockoff. Same with "Your Song" - that's Elton John. "Can't Help Falling In Love With You" - come on, man, that's Elvis. You don't mess with the King. And "Close to You" just makes me want to poke a stick in my ear, no matter who sings it, so that definitely wasn't a hit.

That being said, the album wasn't without its gems. "All The Way" was nicely done, very reminiscent of "When Harry Met Sally". "And I Love You So", originally recorded by Don McLean, was just lovely. "Mona Lisa" is one of those standards that can be done well by a variety of performers, and it was well done here. And "Smile" may be, for me, the redeeming piece on the album. It's darn near vintage Harry, and it did indeed make me smile.

Overall, the album didn't do a lot for me. But the few songs I did enjoy, I'll listen to a good bit.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm not loving it on the first listen myself.