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The CD I'm reviewing is Duets II, the second collection of duets by Tony Bennett. This excellent product is actually a CD with a massive 21 tracks as well as a DVD which features 'The Making of The Album' documentary.
There are some amazing, unexpected and very interesting duets on this CD, bringing Bennett right into the modern world by inviting top current chart stars like Lady Gaga to feature on the album.
Bennett still sounds wonderful despite the fact he's one of the oldest crooners in town. His voice is rich with emotion and conveys experience and honesty. The other stars on the album seem to sing as though they are full of respect and admiration for Bennett. Their performances are measured and they are all clearly putting a lot of effort and emphasis into their parts.
The tracks featured are easy listening songs and old swing numbers. It opens with 'The Lady Is A Tramp' which he sings with Gaga and this song seems oddly appropriate for her! We have a wide range of artists featured though from John Mayer to Faith Hill to Andrea Bocelli.
There are a couple of great 'bonus tracks' on the album which highlight the talents of child superstar Jackie Evancho whilst there are more obvious pair ups with people like Michael Buble (who features on two tracks), Judy Garland and Natalie Cole.
I personally love Bennett's duet with K.d Lang. They sing 'Blue Velvet' together and it sounds simply sublime! Lang sounds like this song was made for her and their two voices together are rich, caressing and beautiful. 'This is All I Ask' with Josh Groban is also stunning as it is quite emotional and powerful. Norah Jones makes an impact on 'Speak Low' - her voice as soft and velvety as runny honey.
This is a relaxing but very interesting album. It draws you in as the mix of voices is quite unexpected. However, the song choices and styles mean this album is a lazy day album which is perfect for putting on and putting your feet up. It's a great quality album made by an artist I really look up to and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys Bennett's style and who wants to hear him do something different.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 The Lady Is A Tramp (with Lady Gaga)
2 One For My Baby (And One More For The Road) (with John Mayer)
3 Body And Soul (with Amy Winehouse)
4 Don't Get Around Much Anymore (with Michael BublÃ©)
5 Blue Velvet (with k.d. lang)
6 How Do You Keep The Music Playing (with Aretha Franklin)
7 The Girl I Love (with Sheryl Crow)
8 On The Sunny Side of the Street (Willie Nelson)
9 Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me) (with Queen Latifah)
10 Speak Low (with Norah Jones)
11 This Is All I Ask (with Josh Groban)
12 Watch What Happens (with Natalie Cole)
13 Stranger In Paradise (with Andrea Bocelli)
14 The Way You Look Tonight (with Faith Hill)
15 Yesterday I Heard The Rain (with Alejandro Sanz)
16 It Had To Be You (with Carrie Underwood)
17 When Do The Bells Ring For Me (with Mariah Carey)