Clay Aiken's first CD with Decca is a treasure. In all honesty, I was a little trepidatious when I first heard that Clay's first release with Decca was going to be an album with music from the 50s and 60s. I am happy to admit, I was wrong. If you are looking for a note by note replica of the originals, this CD is probably not for you. If you want a new spin on these classics and you're looking for music that makes you want to dance, cry and love - this is just the ticket.
These songs are classics for a reason and Clay has adeptly walked the line between honoring the past and breathing new life into them beautifully. The arrangements are superb (bravo to Chris Walden, Ben Cohn and Jesse Vargas, job well done). The production value is top of the line (kudos to Alex Christensen). Every song is a treat and, with every listen, you hear a nuance you missed the first time - whether it's a Flugelhorn or a bit Clay's impeccable phrasing. Clay Aiken - what can you say? Clay has an amazing voice - his range, his tone and timbre, his phrasing and interpretation. This truly is Clay Aiken at his best because it truly is Clay Aiken, singing in his pure voice.
Stand outs for me are Moon River (with an amazing guitar solo by Vince Gill), It's Impossible, Crying (I have never heard Clay with a better duet partner. Linda Eder and Clay Aiken need to record together again, their voices blend beautifully). It's Only Make Believe (love the bass line). Mack The Knife (just pure, unadulterated fun). What Kind of Fool Am I (great solo by David Sanborn and Clay's vocals are haunting). Misty (always one of my favorites). Suspicious Minds (it's pretty cool to hear that guitar intro by Mark James, the composer of this gem). These are the stand outs, but every song on this CD is worth the listen. It's an emotional mixture of fun, sadness, longing and laughter.
Bravo to all who were involved in making this CD. It is a not to be missed treasure.