Bennett, Gaga bring back old jazz classics

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COURTESY OF COLUMBIA RECORDS

By Danny Vasquez

Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga deliver a refreshing take of old jazz classics in their first duet album “Cheek to Cheek.”

After doing a duet in Bennett’s 2011 album, “Duet II,” both Bennett and Gaga developed a great chemistry and beautiful sound together.

With Bennett being an experienced show tune and jazz singer, along with Gaga’s pop stardom, both artists display a modern take in old jazz standards.

The album kicks off with the lead single “Anything Goes,” originally from the musical “Anything Goes.”

The song expresses a joyful melody and a worry-free vibe and it goes well with the album’s theme of modernizing songs. The lyrics talk about how the times have changed in the world.

Gaga’s voice meets all expectations within the harmony portion. Her voice is strong and flows with a unique sound with Bennett holding the melody.

Bennett’s voice is impactful and expresses the true meaning of the song in an outgoing and carefree way.

The title song “Cheek to Cheek” and “Nature Boy” take the audience on a journey of being in love.

Both songs convey a feeling of longing for a person and send the listeners head-over-heels.

In “Cheek to Cheek,” Gaga does an amazing job of creating a longing emotion within the beginning of the number.

Bennett brings the tempo up in the second half of the song and shows the excitement of being with  that person.

The emotion in the song is successful because of the mixture of piano, drums and upright bass. The song definitely puts the listeners in the mood to fall in love.

“Nature Boy” is a slow-paced song that mostly featured Gaga on the single.

It’s an emotional journey of wanting love in return.

While a person is listening to the track, it makes the listeners feel the emptiness inside someone’s heart that drags on while searching for someone. On the album, this song has to be the most emotionally impactful.

The album has a lot of numbers that evoke the feeling of love, but Bennett and Gaga don’t fail to keep the emotions flowing with more excitement.

Songs like “I Won’t Dance” and “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got the Swing)” bring a dance element and swing aspect of jazz into the mix.

“I Won’t Dance” is a fun song that makes the listeners sway with the beat. It takes the listeners back to a time when big bands were popular.

The composition is beautiful and both singers compliment each other in the number.

Bennett and Gaga end the album on a strong note by using the popular jazz classic, “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got the Swing),” originally sung by Ella Fitzgerald.

“It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got the Swing)” is a bold number to end with, but the song by Bennett and Gaga is not the best interpretation of the original.

The song stands on its own and sounds good, but in comparison to the rest of the album, it didn’t meet expectations. Despite that, the song adds a fun aspect to the album.

The album overall showed Gaga in a different light and sound. Gaga is extremely talented and didn’t fail to keep up with Bennett. The chemistry between the two is strange, yet intriguing to listen to.

“Cheek to Cheek” has 11 songs on the album that are modern takes of old jazz classics and is now available in stores and on iTunes.

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