Natalie Cole

Still Unforgettable

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Natalie Cole's liner notes for Still Unforgettable make it sound like the Great American Songbook had been collecting dust on her shelf since 1991, when she recorded Unforgettable, the album that shot her into the mainstream. (She had been releasing Top Ten R&B albums since 1975, but Unforgettable was something else, a cultural phenomenon that inspired a Saturday Night Live skit.) Still Unforgettable features another duet with father, "Walkin' My Baby Back Home," but its make-up isn't that much different from albums like Take a Look (1993), Stardust (1996), or Ask a Woman Who Knows (2002). While she has been reinterpreting classics on and off for nearly two decades now, she can't be faulted for phoning it in; in fact, she seems to be having more fun with the songbook than before. If you're keeping score at home, Nat King Cole was 32 when he recorded "Walkin' My Baby Back Home"; Natalie was in her late 50s when she recorded the duet with her father's vocals -- which would, for the sake of the song here, make her old enough to be her father's mother.

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