Of The Eagles' vocalists Glenn Frey has always been the more soulful sounding. Not as distinct or impressive a rock singer as Don Henley or as unique as Joe Walsh, he has always delivered the tender ballads with a degree of panache. To demonstrate this tender vocal style, for his first album since 1995, Frey has decided to visit a number of classic love songs from the forties to the present.
It is a project that has taken two and a half years and is dedicated to his parents, who played many of these songs when he was a child. Inevitably whenever someone embarks on a project so personal there is a sense of self- indulgence, but the likes of Rod Stewart and Tony Bennett have proved recently that well chosen material can provide for a degree of success.
To be honest there are times when Frey is unregonisable from the man in The Eagles, especially on the opening For Sentimental Reasons and My Buddy. Those standards from the 40s are pitched alongside more interesting choices, like Brian Wilsonís Caroline, No and the delicate Same Girl, written by Randy Newman. Everything is layered in beautiful orchestration and production, not a note is out of place.
Bacharach and Davidís The Look of Love is delivered more like a typical Frey ballad, while Avery Parrishís title track rounds off the album as it begins, with a song that evokes images of black and white movies and gently choreographed smoky dance scenes. Not everything works so well, with Hereís To Life lacking the emotion of Barbra Streisandís version and when he goes more jazzy and uptempo things feel more uncomfortable. Route 66ís country/jazz, for example, feeling slightly awkward.
Frey describes how difficult it was to learn and ultimately 'own' these songs. There you go, that American Idol/X Factor word again. Once recorded by someone I am not sure anyone ever 'owns' a song, you just give it your own feel. Here Frey does that with some success and at the very least always sounds like he truly adores the songs.
Check out the Music-News.com exclusive interview below:
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