At least Rod Stewart is consistent. Long accused by critics of selling his considerable interpretative talents short and playing it safe for the trappings of fame, Stewart revisits the font of his latest career revival here.
But while 2002ís It Had To Be You at least turned on the novelty of hearing raspy Rod the Mod tackle a slate of American pop standards with a boozy, world-weary tone that sometimes reinforced the originalsí intent with trans-generational flair, the British rock icon unfortunately reverted to form a year later on this 14-track sequel.
Set against the laconic, cocktail-friendly productions of vets Richard Perry and Phil Ramone, Stewartís performances seem strangely detached throughout.
Even when offered the chance at some real human interaction on a pair of ill-conceived duets with Cher (who at least attempts to bring some dramatic flair to ĹBewitched, Bothered and BewilderedĹ) and Queen Latifah (whose recent turn in Chicago informs the title track), Stewart seems almost blissfully unaware of their presence.
These are songs that virtually demand to be acted out, not phoned in. Brilliant vocal performances often reinforce the notion of Ĺthe singer, not the song;Ĺ here that old adage sounds more like a suggestion of where to place the blame for this albumís disappointments.