A few years ago, I considered myself a Lady Gaga fan. Back in the days of the fame, I knew the words to every song, I had every album and I watched every video. I was slightly dissappointed by Artpop, as I felt that she got a bit lost in it and I forgot about her for a while. However, I was so impressed by her new album, Cheek to Cheek. I feel that a collaboration between her and Tony Bennett was the perfect combination to showcase her talents to their high standard.
When I heard about this album, I knew straight away that it was one to get on vinyl. I ordered it a few weeks ago, and ever since it came I’ve had it on replay and been dying to review it.
The first thing that struck me about this album was how natural it seems. I love that Gaga didn’t do the conventional thing of releasing another pop album, but instead went back to her roots of jazz. It shows her talents in a completely new way, a way that in my opinion does the complete opposite of her last album, which saw her fade slightly into the production. The live studio approach makes the sole focus the instruments and vocals, which provides a really rewarding finish.
The first song that stood out to me from this album was “Bang, Bang (My Baby shot me Down)”, the live video of which left me with goosebumps. I thought she both looked and sounded incredible. When I got the album, I was slightly dissappointed to see that “Bang, Bang” wasn’t on it. However, I was soon equally impressed by “It Don’t Mean a Thing”, “Cheek to Cheek” and “Anything Goees”, among others.
The quality of this record is so good, but I think listening to the vinyl makes it perfect. There’s just something about the sound of vinyl that makes it seem so authentic, the way that every last flaw is heard that makes it seems so much more real.
Another reason this album is so successful is the chemistry between Gaga and Bennett. Listening to the record makes it feel like they’re sharing something special that they want the listener to experience too.
I had so much respect for Tony Bennett already, but after this album it’s only increasing. He’s 88 years old and still selling out world tours and making such energetic music. I first discovered him through Amy Winehouse (Body and Soul duet), so I wasn’t new to his music. The energy that he has when he sings compells the listener and it just makes me want to keep listening.
Another thing on my long list of praises for this album is the H&M Christmas ad, featuring Gaga and Bennett. I love the clothes, the music, the singing and just the general holiday atmosphere. If you haven’t, I would strongly suggest watching it (click here). I love that they chose to do one of the most energetic songs off the album, it suits the ad so well.
Overall, I think I have to give this album full marks. I love everything about it, and I really admire Gaga for going back to her roots and succeeding so well at it. I recommend listening to this album, and if you have a record player, buying a vinyl record.
Do you like this album? What do you think of Gaga’s movement into jazz?