Jason Donovan

Sign of Your Love

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After visiting the birth of rock & roll on 2008's Let It Be Me and revisiting the sounds of his heyday on 2010's Soundtrack of the 80's, former Neighbours actor-turned-PWL favorite Jason Donovan ventures into the big-band swing era for his sixth studio album, Sign of Your Love. His third covers album since his reality TV-assisted return to the music scene suggests the former Joseph star is now content to become nothing more than a karaoke artist. Like Westlife and Robbie Williams' excursions into Rat Pack territory, it's a rather pointless exercise, with little attempt to make his own mark on classic numbers made famous by the likes of Frank Sinatra ("I Won't Dance"), Peggy Lee ("I Only Have Eyes for You"), and standards penned by songwriting greats George Gershwin ("They Can't Take That Away from Me") and Cole Porter ("Every Time We Say Goodbye"). The arrangements may be elegant enough, with their tasteful sweeping strings, shuffling brush stroke rhythms, and delicate ivory tinkling, but there's little here to lift the album above hotel foyer music, with a positively dreary take of Dinah Washington's "What a Difference a Day Made" the worst culprit. It's not without merit. "Bewitched" is a jaunty and expressive rendition of the '60s TV theme tune that he danced to during his recent spell on Strictly Come Dancing; the deep sax riffs on "Make Love" (one of three originals included) makes it sound like a classic Christmas number; while "Creative," a note-for-note cover of 2007 X Factor winner Leon Jackson's minor hit, is a charming slice of bossa nova pop. Sign of Your Love sounds exactly like you'd expect it to, and while his small but loyal fan base will be satisfied, Donovan will perhaps have to search for more talent contests to appear in if he wants to remain on the public's radar.

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