Saturday, February 18, 2006
"You Make The Sun Shine Brighter Than Doris Day"
That's one of my favorite lyrics (it comes from Wham's "Wake Me Up (Before You Go Go)." But of course no one makes the sun shine brighter than Doris Day. She's always been an exceptional singer overshadowed by her cheery image. But still, I've never paid much attention to her. So what possessed me to buy The Love Album -- her final studio album which remained unrealeased for about 40 years? But darned if it isn't pretty great, with Day delivering subtle, engaging covers of standards like "For All We Know" and "All Alone." Her disarming approach reminds me of Peggy Lee, another singer who doesn't seem to be striving to do much at all until she breaks your heart. I can't agree with noted jazz vocalist expert Will Friedwald, who claims in the liner notes that Day's version of the Joni Mitchell classic "Both Sides Now" is the greatest version of that song ever recorded. (It's good, but the arrangement dates it a bit.) But when he compares Day to Ella Fitzgerald, Rosemary Clooney and Lee, it's hard to argue.