Bobby Caldwell

Blue Condition

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It's a tribute to Bobby Caldwell's consummate songwriting skills that his three original compositions -- including the previously recorded, melancholy would-be classic "Stuck on You" -- fit in perfectly alongside standards by the likes of Cole Porter and Sammy Cahn/Jimmy Van Heusen on the very tradition-minded Blue Condition. Best known for easygoing R&B-flavored adult pop vocals, Caldwell reaches back and superimposes himself in front of lively big-band arrangements that recall classic Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and Bobby Darin recordings. He never approaches those idols in terms of vocal distinction, but that doesn't seem to be his point. He's more reflecting upon his inspirations than trying to emulate them, rewarding longtime fans with the sort of artistry they suspected might exist all along. The uninitiated, however, might enjoy all the surrounding pleasantries and wonder why we need another guy out there doing classics when he clearly doesn't measure up to those standards vocally.

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