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Paul AnkaPaul Anka | Rock Swings
a radio bobo-k music cd review

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Because it worked so well for Pat Boone (note the sarcasm) Paul Anka swings to the "new standards". What makes this so bad its good, unlike Boone's CD which was just bad, is that Anka actually takes this seriously! He's not making personal appearances with Ozzy Osbourne while clad in leather - he's absolutely serious! And, god help me, this album is infectious.

Rock Swings features Anka singing full out swing versions of pop and rock tracks, complete with Sinatra-style arrangements. Anka almost out Sinatras-Sinatra, even "shouts out" to Frank on Bon Jovi's "It's My Life" - singing "Frank says I did it my way".

My friend, who turned me onto this CD claims that he had to listen to "Smells Like Teen Spirit" nine times in a row, he couldn't believe it. I had to put "Jump" on repeat, if for no other reason that you know that somewhere Diamond Dave (who himself tried the rock lounge lizard thing with some of his solo albums) is kicking himself for not thinking of this first. When the hepkat background vocalists shout "jump" after Anka says "Might as well jump", I can't help but giggle!

I bet if someone were to tell Anka what some of the songs really mean ("Wonderwall" for example"), he might have thought twice about covering them. I wonder whose warped mind came up with the track selection, ranging from The Cure's "Love Cats", to Soundgarden's "Blackhole Sun" and Spandau Ballet's "True"(hey wasn't that a loungy throwback song in the 80s?).

The musicians on this recording are flawless, the arrangements are quite good, and Anka really does the best Frank impression I've heard in quite some time. It's like sonic crack - you know it'll rot your brain, yet for some inexplicable reason, you want more.

Track Listing
1. It's My Life
2. True
3. Eye of the Tiger
4. Everybody Hurts
5. Wonderwall
6. Blackhole Sun
7. It's a Sin
8. Jump
9. Smells Like Teen Spirit
10. Hello
11. Eyes Without a Face
12. Lovecats
13. The Way You Make Me Feel
14. Tears in Heaven

 

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