Mariah Carey and Amy Whinehouse were the two duets featured on Tony Bennett's upcoming Duets II album that I was most looking forward to hearing. Well it's lucky for me, and my impatience, then that those two songs leaked onto the internet before the albums 20th of September release date. I need a a little while, and a lot more listens, to really conjure up an opinion, but just thought I'd share the songs with you lovely readers! Below are my initial, sketchy impressions of the two songs.
Listening to Amy Winehouse on Body and Soul just reminds me what a brilliant vocalist she was. Her skill at interpreting a melody and putting her own spin on it was truly something special. I particularly liked the way her voice would duck and dive around Tony's: sometimes dancing above it, but at other times grounding and fortifying it as it ventured into alto lows!
Mariah Carey's feature on When Do The Bells Ring For Me, sounds kind of odd to me on first listen, because there are times when it doesn't even sound like her. Much of the song is sung in her "Whisper" register, which is warmer and slightly fuller than before. Mariah does crank up the voice and get up into the chest register by the end, but it comes off sounding slightly like shouting when it forgoes the vibrato, much in the same way as it sounded on the Memoirs of an Imperfect Geisha album. Still really excited to hear new Mariah though!
Oh and Tony Bennet has a set of pipes on him! Can not believe he is in his 80s. His tone is incredible as is his rhythm!! Just thought I should mention him, considering the songs are from his album...lol..