Yes, you read that right: the king of jazz vocalists and the queen of provocative art-pop have teamed up for a duets album, performing a set of standards by icons like Cole Porter, Irving Berlin and Duke Ellington. It's not the stretch you might think. As her fans know, Gaga has chops. She's a piano whiz and a vocal acrobat, as she demonstrates by hitting those high notes on "Nature Boy" (dig the flute solo). And Bennett is Bennett: cool as ice and twice as smooth. The tunes are classically arranged with strings, horns, and walking bass lines: there are no art-pop detours here, and it's refreshing to hear Gaga singing absent the conceptual pomp of her usual fare. It may be just another one of her arch personas, but it's one she does exceptionally well.
September 23, 2014 16 Songs, 48 minutes ℗ 2014 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment /Interscope Records, a division of UMG Recordings, Inc.