I guess no one expected “Love for Sale”. Already the previous joint album Tony Bennett – a veteran of the American stage song – and Lady Gaga, that is “Cheek to Cheek” it seemed like just a one-time prank. Anyway, this position itself could be quite a surprise for fans of the pop singer due to how much it differed from her other materials.
And sure – those who had the opportunity to dig to her performance on “Duets II” Bennett, several acoustic concerts and recordings from before the birth of alter-ego Stefania Germanotta, they knew she didn’t come out of nowhere.
As for the second author of the album: it’s almost certain that “Love For Sale” is the last chance to hear Tony Bennett’s new studio recordings. Thanks to this album, the 95-year-old singer entered the Guinness Book of Records as the oldest artist in history to release new material, but we are not even talking about it. Earlier this year, it was revealed that a musician was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2016. All the more, his co-creation of such an album as “Love For Sale” at this age and in this state is admirable.
If you know “Cheek to Cheek”, basically all the positive words towards that album should be repeated here as well. It is again a musical return to the times when life may not have been easier, but music tried to take away from the gray reality.
Again, the American jazz standards were chosen, but while the previous album drew on the works of various authors, this time the musicians decided to pay tribute to Cole Porter, known, inter alia, as the creator of music for the cult musical of the 1930s “Anything Goes”. The formula was not experimented with – jazz-orchestral arrangements were chosen, achieving a retro-atmosphere that would satisfy all those who eagerly return to recordings Julie London if Bing Crosby or Frank Sinatra.
Tony Bennett is invariably impressed, not so much singing well for his age – he is just still great at the microphone. Sure, the larynx has been marked with maturity, but the charisma and energy that exudes this vocal simply magnetize.
You can also hear that a lot has changed in the workshop of Lady Gaga since “Cheek to Cheek”. We can see more precision in her vocals, she does not sometimes lay hills, she also captures the spirit of the era much better in her parts – she knows when to tease the listener, how to enter into delicate tones (you must listen to what she is doing in “Do I Love You”!) and where to show nature. At the same time, it does not charge, which is extremely easy to afford in the case of musical compositions. And truth be told, despite the credit for what she did on the album “Chromatica”, it is so different here that it is sometimes hard to believe that we are dealing with the same artist.
The most important thing is how perfectly the heroes of the album sound with each other. Just listen to one like this “I’ve Got You Under My Skin”and you will see for yourself how much chemistry there is. Bennett and Gaga sound like they are having a great time playing the roles their individual songs cram into, while having a great deal of respect for each other.
Of course, “Love for Sale” is by no means an outstanding album. This was not the goal of the creators – the second joint work of Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga is simply an ear-friendly item that keeps the same style throughout. Thanks to this, you will know what to expect until the end after the first track. Therefore, although it will not conquer the lists of the best albums of this year, it will be an ideal album for casual listening, relaxation and the desire to move into the past.
Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga “Love For Sale”, Universal Music Polska