It's funny how at different points in my life I have found myself drawn to the music of different members of the Rat Pack. When I was in high school and feeling like a bit of an outsider, I most closely identified with Sammy Davis Jr. and "I Gotta Be Me."
In my "angry young man" phase (which, admittedly, I may not have quite cleared just yet) I was pulled by the alternately aggressive and mournful vocal stylings of Frank Sinatra and his, "as soon as I finish this song I'm gonna put somebody's head through a wall" attitude.
Now, though, as I'm finally (if reluctantly) beginning to accept myself as part of the adult world, I now feel most at home listening to Dino and his "lighter-than-air" and "devil-may-care" crooning.
Now, being a bit of a purist, I was a little reluctant about the new album, Forever Cool, released by Capitol Records that combines original tracks of Dean (a la Natalie Cole singing with Nat King Cole) with new recordings by contemporary artists like Chris Botti, Joss Stone, and Kevin Spacey. (Yes, that Kevin Spacey.)
Upon reflection, though, I realized that this was just the sort of thing that Dino would have done if he were still with us today. (Well, on earth. Dino's always with us, I believe.) Dean loved to sing with performers from all different backgrounds on his long-running television variety show, so it is perhaps fitting that he's been paired posthumously (and reverently) with the other artists on this album.
So I bought the album. I walked into a music store, grabbed the CD, and put my money on the counter. I didn't download it off the internet. You don't download Dean, you know?
Well, it's an amazing album, and I'd be hard-pressed to find a bad pairing for these "duets" (and, surprisingly enough, the two numbers with Kevin Spacey just might be my favorites. Time will tell.).
It's a great album to add to your Rat Pack collection or it's also a great CD to introduce yourself to the coolest man to ever hold a microphone, Dean Martin.