MTV just posted their track-by-track breakdown of each song from Lady GaGa and Tony Bennett’s new jazz album, Cheek To Cheek.
1. “Anything Goes”
This Cole Porter-written tune was the first single from the album and it has a long history for both artists. Bennett first covered it in 1959 on his Strike Up the Band album and Gaga has said she fell in love with it as a 13-year-old. The pair trade lines in the bright arrangement and Gaga is clearly having a blast, doing her best Broadway belting with tons of energy and enthusiasm.
2. “Cheek To Cheek”
Another Great American Songbook standard — this one from Irving Berlin — finds the dynamic duo singing in perfect harmony, with Gaga’s high-clear vocals dancing around Bennett’s still crystal-clear mid-range. The mutual admiration comes through on this one and you can easily imagine the energy in the studio when they recorded it.
3. “Nature Boy”
Nat King Cole had a huge hit in 1948 with this song about a “strange enchanted boy” who learns the ultimate lesson that the greatest thing in life is “to love and to be loved in return.” The lush orchestral arrangement has Gaga dipping into her breathy Liza Minnelli range amid trilling flutes and gently brushed drums. This song sounds like what you imagine a smoky jazz club in 1940s New York would feel like.
Talk about Liza! Gaga sounds like she just stepped out of a Broadway revival with her scatting, brassy singing on this uptempo track.
5. “I Won’t Dance”
This is one of the best examples of why Gaga and Bennett likely thought this album was a good idea. The Jerome Kern/Oscar Hammerstein II 1934 tune from the flop “Three Sisters” musical has been recorded by everyone from Ella Fitzgerald to Frank Sinatra and British “Pop Idol” star Will Young. But in Gaga and Bennett’s hands, the vocals sound like a flirty conversation, with Mother Monster giving it her brassy best while Bennett, as usual, lays back in the cut and plays it cool.
6. “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love”
Things get a bit funky on this Jimmy McHugh track from 1928, with plucked stand-up bass, gorgeous Hammond organ and fierce horn-playing courtesy of Bennett’s quartet. Also along for the ride are Gaga’s buddy jazz trumpeter Brian Newman and his jazz quintet as well as tenor saxophonist Joe Lovano.
The duo also rework the lyrics, with Gaga giving a shout-out to Bennett on the line, “Gee, I’d like to say you’re looking swell, Tony” and Bennett returning the favor by singing, “Diamond bracelets won’t work, doesn’t sell, Gaga.”
7. “Lush Life”
One of the most beloved jazz standards, “Life” was written by Billy Strayhorn in the 1930s and made famous through renditions recorded by everyone from Nat King Cole to John Coltrane and Queen Latifah. It’s a shining showcase for Gaga’s more restrained, nuanced singing, toning down the bombast of her pop tunes for a more measured, mature sound.
8. “Sophisticated Lady”
Originally composed as an instrumental by Duke Ellington in 1932, this is the kind of standard that Bennett can knock out in his sleep. This time around, his deft vocals effortlessly dance between the piano notes for one of his signature performances.
9. “Let’s Face The Music And Dance”
Gaga is totally in her element on this Irving Berlin burner from 1936. With a Calypso-style beat and bright horns, she sounds like the world’s glitziest lounge singer, clearly enjoying the moment so much you can practically hear her grinning her way through the vocals.
10. “But Beautiful”
Bennett first tried this 1947 Jimmy Van Heusen song on his 1975 album with jazz piano giant Bill Evans. On this string-heavy rendition, he and Gaga sound like moony-eyed teenagers sharing a microphone as they sing about their endless love. This is also one of the few songs on the album where Gaga lets a bit of her pop persona shine through when she growls out the chorus near the end of the track.
11. “It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)”
Another Ellington composition, this one has the perfect energy for Bennett and Gaga to both let it rip. Loose and uptempo, the song swings and jives through brassy horn solos and ends with the duo scatting their way off into the sunset as Gaga gives off an enthusiastic “Whoo!!!”
Sky Ferreira tweeted the other day that she is currently working with Charli XCX on some material that will “sound very TATU.” This came just a few weeks after the California babe announced her second studio album “has begun.”
It isn’t confirmed whether Charli will be featured on the track, just that they wrote it together. I don’t know how anything about it except that you can bet money that it’ll be phenomenal.
Press Play is the place where The New York Times debuts noteworthy new music. Every week, we present tracks from an upcoming new album. Listen to them here exclusively.
You can now stream LIGHTS’ newest album, Little Machines over at NYTIMES.com. It’s so good! Take a listen!
YES! Paloma Faith just announced that she will be issuing a repackage of her latest record, A Perfect Contradiction. The record will be subtitled Outsiders’ Edition and will be released on November 3rd!
The first single from this re-release is titled, “Ready For The Good Life” (produced by Klas Åhlund) and to be released “soon.”
I’m not too sure who this “Chrishan” guy is that posted this on Facebook, but he left this under it:
So what do you think? Is Beyoncé already working on her follow-up to her surprise visual album?
Hilary Duff stopped by the Take 40 Live Lounge to give new details about her upcoming 5th studio album (still untitled) and give a beautiful performance of her latest single, “All About You.”
When asked if the entire album would have the same “country twang” that “You" has, she replied with
Three or four other songs have that vibe to it. You know what was an inspiration for it? Like old school Sheryl Crow. It’s in there, it’s woven all the way through.
Awkwardly enough, when Duff was asked about any collaborations on the album, she only had this to say:
Not yet. I wrote a really cool duet that I would have to find someone to do it with. Secretly Harry Styles is on the wish list, but he’s kind of busy with a band called One Direction.
Maybe this video is a late release from some early promotion or something, but it’s strikingly odd that she didn’t mention Ed Sheeran for the collaboration. Seeing as how she has recently named the song “Tattoo" to be the duet he appears on.
This honestly just makes me all that more excited about the record though; she never disappoints.
Anyway, like I mentioned, she performed a fabulous acoustic version of “All About You" that can be view below!
If you have any correction, just feel free to message me here or on my twitter: @OVERDOSEblog
P!NK has teamed up with Dallas Green (City and Colour) to create the duo, You + Me. Along with the announcement they revealed the cover art for their first album, roseave., which will be released on October 14th!
Pre-order the album and listen to their first single, “You and Me,” here.