Tuesday, October 18, 2005

He Still Thinks He's Sexy

Everything I like about Rod Stewart's Great American Songbook series is the same think that almost everyone hates about it: the prospect of an aging Rocker tackling the Standards that should be left to the real singers is treason to guardians of the Songbooks. But Stewart's 4 titles work because Rod knows he can't outsing Ella or Sinatra when it comes to this stuff. So he adapts his trademark wink-and-a-smile vocals and attitude and it comes through winningly. In order to love this version of Rod you have to love "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?" the brilliantly misunderstood Disco single that Rod now disowns (but probably secretly loves). If that song makes you cringe than the Songbook CD's will as well. Vol. 4 released today is just like the others with more guests: Chaka, George Benson, Elton John, Diana Ross and some Smooth Jazz instrumentalists. Vol. 4 was supposed to be a Soul Covers collection, but the brains behind the series, Clive Davis, convinced Rod to go to the well again. Like the other 3, it has duff stuff, but also moments of pure fun. Now I'm telling you to replace your copies of Ella's Songbook CD's, but I guarantee that if you can put aside your prejudice about who controls the Classics, than Rod's take will make you smile.
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