Amore

Dean Martin

Capitol, 2009

http://www.deanmartin.com/

REVIEW BY: Duke Egbert

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 05/26/2009

Any longtime reader of the DV will know that I'm the old far – um, hold on – the guy who is most likely to review classic vocal pop music. If there's a Nat King Cole or a Tony Bennett review in our archives, it's likely my name's attached to it. So when the Milling Throng of reviewers here was offered the new compilation of classic Dean Martin love songs, my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Amore, I jumped on it.

In truth, I like Dean Martin the actor (Rio Bravo, anyone?) better than I do the singer. And maybe it's the singer, or maybe it's the songs, but Amore just doesn't do that much for me. I found it kind of disappointing.

The production and engineering on this album is average, at best. There are times when the sound seems almost muddy or indistinct, and there's very little dynamic range. Martin's voice was capable of expression and power, but you won't find much of that here; after a while, every song started sounding the same. Note to Capitol Records: if you're going to bring out a compilation of a dead artist, you have to at least make it sound good or there's no real reason for people to buy the darn thing.

Then there are the songs. While there are some real classics on here – "Just In Time," "That's Amore," and "You're Nobody Till Somebody Loves You" – most of the tracks on Amore are mostly forgettable. This disc was promoted and positioned as Valentine's Day mood music, but in my experience a little Barry White or George Benson would do a much better job. I specifically have to comment on Deano's version of "I've Grown Accustomed To Her Face" from My Fair Lady – while I try not to speak ill of the dead, the fact remains that if Rex Harrison's mostly spoken version from the movie is better than your version, perhaps it might be best to never actually record it.

By the time I was done listening to this album, I wanted "Volare," "Everybody Loves Somebody" or "Ain't It A Kick in The Head.” Too boring, too flat, and too murky, Amore didn't inspire much love in my heart.

Rating: C-

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