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Album Review: Rod Stewart's "Fly Me to the Moon ... The Great American Songbook Volume V"

  • Oct 20, 2010
Rating:
-5
Oh, Rod Stewart, what's happened to you? I miss the Rod Stewart of yesteryear - the rocker, party-animal and bad boy who gave us such hits as "Hot Legs", "Rhythm of my Heart", "Forever Young", and "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy." Now we're left with a cover artist who's traded in everything that made him a star and appealing who churns out albums full of cover songs of old American classics. "Fly Me to the Moon ... The Great American Songbook Volume V" is really not that different from the first four albums of the American Songbook series. For one album, the one where he covered classic rock songs, there was a hint of the old Rod Stewart but now we're back to this crooner imitation that Stewart's been playing with for the past few years.

In listening to this album, I wanted to break down this review by tracks. Then I realized that there really was nothing great to say about the individual tracks on this album. I will start off by saying one good thing: thank goodness the music of this release is more upbeat and overall happier than the tracks chosen for the other songbook volumes. That simple change of going for the most swing/upbeat orchestral arrangement of the songs makes "Fly Me to the Moon" stand out in the series.

Now, for the bad news. My problem with "Fly Me to the Moon" and the other four volumes of this American Songbook series is that it is really lacking in Rod Stewart. I'll explain. I get it - as artists get older, they want to change or do something differently musically. This thing of covering old American classics, however, has been dragged out entirely too long in my opinion and is truly killing the musical legacy Rod Stewart made. These tracks are nothing more than high profile karaoke. Where's the feeling? Where's the emotion, the spark that makes you nod your head in appreciation of the sentiment and emotion; the unique spin that makes you feel like you're listening to Rod Stewart? This album, and the others of this American Songbook series are pretty annoying and disappointing because every track is sung almost entirely the same as the next. There's no real emotional exploration going on or personalization happening. To me, the tracks sound very similar and therefore feel uninteresting because it feels like Rod Stewart or his record company realize they'll make money with him being a cover artist either way and he's grown very comfortable not investing himself into the music or songs because they're already familiar to most of his audience.

This feels like a lazy effort from Rod Stewart with no real creativity or talent being exhibited. There are a few tracks worth listening to: "Moon River," "Sunny Side of the Street", "Fly Me to the Moon" have traces of the old Rod Stewart but still, I find it hard to believe that the once rocker Stewart who in interviews likes to to point out how he doesn't feel old or irrelevant has gone from being such a stand out artist to being nothing more than a good cover artist. I'd like to have heard a few original tracks mixed into this album; we haven't been treated to truly new, original content from Rod Stewart in years and I believe all of this covering of the American classics he's done over the years has made him a bit weak as an artist because he's singing every song with the same emotion and tone and is showing little range. I say skip this. It's really not anything new or anything unique worth throwing your money at.

Listen to These: "Fly Me to the Moon," "Sunny Side of the Street," "Moon River."
Album Review: Rod Stewart's

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October 20, 2010
It's not just you. I was okay with the first one and not entirely surprised with the second considering the first seemed to do surprisingly well but it seems like he's made the decision to stick to this new American Songbook thing for the time being. He was on The View earlier exclaiming there were still hundreds upon hundreds of songs he could do from the American Songbook and I'm like REALLY. Really, Rod Stewart? You want to go down as being a cover artist and not even covering songs in the genre of music that propelled you to fame? I wish he'd stop and make original music again.
 
October 20, 2010
I totally agree with you on this Rod Stewart "Great American Songbook" series. Positively dreadful! I was wondering if it was just me because these discs sell fairly well but your review only confirms what I have thought about this stuff for the longest time. I won't even bother to sample this one now. I have better things to do with my time.
 
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About the reviewer
Antoine D. Reid ()
Ranked #8
Antoine Reid is an innovative graphic designer with over five years experience in print design specializing in promotion and publication design, illustration, and creating dynamic content for the Web. … more
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About this album

Wiki

Introducing the fifth stunning chapter of the chart-topping, multi-platinum album series. An all new collection of American classics... it's Rod's most danceable Songbook yet. Truly possessing one of the most distinctive and interpretive voices in music, on Fly Me To The Moon... The Great American Songbook, Volume V, he lends his signature vocals to such classics as: "That Old Black Magic", "Beyond The Sea", "I've Got You Under My Skin", and many more. The album was produced by longtime collaborators Clive Davis and Richard Perry.
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Details

Label: J-Records
Genre: Pop
Release Date: October 19, 2010

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