|Barry Manilow - Manilow Sings Sinatra|
|Music Disc Reviews Audio CD|
|Written by Jerry Del Colliano|
|Tuesday, 10 November 1998|
Most every male singer (professional or in-shower) has to be somewhat influenced by the style, swagger and longevity of Ol' Blue Eyes, Frank Sinatra. Much like on the highly touted 'Duets' and 'Duets II' albums, super-producer Phil Ramone has teamed up with another musical icon, Barry Manilow to take a run at some of Frank's greatest songs.
The production quality and orchestrations of the record are excellent which is saying a lot compared to the lush arrangements found on so many of Mr. Sinarta's records. The performance is, well, Barry Manilow. There is just no way to get past it. If you really like Barry Manilow, you are in luck. Myself, I found myself wanting to experience a whole other level of performance from this project, for which I never really heard.
One must respect the fact that, while the play list on the record is blue chip, Mr. Ramone and Mr. Manilow kept away from Sinatra signature songs like "My Way" and "New York, New York." Some of the better cuts include "I've Got The World On A String" which has a cozy feel, but sonically suffers from a overly reverbed vocal track. "Come Dance With Me/Come Fly With Me" may be the best cut in that the arrangement is really cooking. The song is a swing standard and the up tempo pace of this version makes the Manilow effect less cheesy. The best test of your music playback system is "Angel Eyes," which features a nightclub ambiance complete with tasty vibes, a delicate, but rich piano sound and great lyrics.
Barry Manilow is far from a bad singer, but never could he compete with Mr. Sinatra in his heyday. The recording is great, the production is superior and it is wonderful to hear all of the familiar melodies all over again. Nonetheless, Manilow Sings Sinatra should be reserved for hardcore Manilow and or Sinatra loyalists.