Harry Connick, Jr.

Your Songs

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Much like 2001's Songs I Heard and 2004's Only You, 2009's Your Songs finds vocalist/pianist Harry Connick, Jr. coming up with an urbane and passionate set of American popular songs and contemporary pop classics that he both performs and orchestrates. While his previous recordings leaned toward the classicist side -- Only You featured songs of the '50s and '60s -- Your Songs features a more eclectic mix of standards and pop songs with Connick's own lush orchestration lending an overall aesthetic of languid romanticism. To this end, Connick turns Billy Joel's "Just the Way You Are" into a kind of Herb Alpert-inspired '60s pop nugget and, conversely, the Beatles' 1964 classic "And I Love Her" gets a kind of '70s Latin lounge feel with classical guitar flourishes. However, Connick isn't only concerned with reworking tunes in unexpected ways; on the contrary, longtime fans of Connick's swinging neo-crooner work will be pleasantly surprised by his straightforward takes on "Just the Way You Look Tonight" and "Some Enchanted Evening." Similarly engaging are his renditions of such rock-oriented tunes the album's Elton John title track, his low-key version of Don McLean's "And I Love You So," and the Carpenters' "(They Long to Be) Close to You." Ultimately, Your Songs is a classy and feel-good stroll of an album.

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