I just now listened to the first fifty seconds of Smokey Robinson's new standards album before I couldn't take it anymore and hit the stop button. A decent enough r 'n' b songwriter, almost inarguably Robinson had the least interesting solo singing voice of any major Motown artist. Frankly, quite annoying. That he sounds even worse singing the Great American Songbook comes as no surprise. Come back Rod Stewart. . .all is forgiven.
I recently learned, BTW, that the total amount of time Stewart was in the studio to complete his contributions to the first three R.S. mega-platinum standards albums was less than eight hours total. (And it shows.) Comes to about a million-and-a-half simoleons an hour.
As for me, I'm holding out for the new "Live From Rehab" standards CD from MISS (to you) Diana Ross. She actually has a bit of sense of how to sing this stuff.
All of these Kid-Music-Singers-Get-Down-With-the Grown-up-Stuff CDs (Stewart, Michael Bolton et al) are becoming more than a little annoying. Nothing more than career-extender stunts to insure some good Vegas gigs now that there's nest-to-nada remaining of their former fan base.
Frankly, if it was a choice between listening to the remaining twelve tracks of Smokey Robinson's new CD or having root canal, I'd gladly choose the latter.