Thanks for the Memory... The Great American Songbook, Vol. IV
Who would’ve thought it? Rod Stewart, rock belter extraordinaire, has survived to become one of the best singers of pop standards around. His first three Great American Songbook albums displayed an effortless suavity and understated charm. Thanks for the Memory, his latest release in this series, continues in a similarly seductive vein. Stewart’s sandpaper-rough vocals have gained a finer grain with time, and he applies them with inspired finesse to such classics as “Taking a Chance on Love,” “Blue Skies,” and “My Funny Valentine.” He’s joined by such impeccable guest stars as Diana Ross (“I’ve Got a Crush on You”), Chaka Khan (“You Send Me”), and Elton John (“Makin’ Whoopee”), and benefits from the well-tailored orchestrations of Alan Broadbent. Throughout, Stewart interprets these tunes with a sly wink and a warm heart, lifting Thanks for the Memory beyond mere nostalgia. Keep the tuxedo, Rod — you wear it well.