Kenny Rogers

With Love [1998]

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Kenny Rogers singing contemporary romantic standards? Why not--he's already tackled folk (with the New Christie Minstrels), pop psychedelia (with the First Edition), and mainstream country (songs too numerous to mention). For that matter, one of his very first appearances on record, the Bobby Doyle Three's 1962 IN A MOST UNUSUAL WAY, was, in fact, an LP of standards. Unsurprisingly, Rogers approaches the songs here rather conservatively, with smooth phrasing and nary a hint of swing. Then again, he's quite unabashedly crooning here, not trying to be Sinatra, and given that his warm baritone seems not to have aged a day, the results are listenable in the extreme. Celebrity cameo: Neil Young's longtime producer and collaborator David Briggs shows up here on piano.

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