Review by Kimmo Toivonen
The news of Michael Bolton signing with Italian melodic rock label Frontiers was a bit of a surprise. Immediately the fans of his eighties albums were getting excited over the prospect of a new rock album. No news about that kind of a release have surfaced so far though, but here’s a new Bolton album anyway. An album full of covers. With the most basic album cover I’ve seen in a while.
If you’re a hardcore fan of Bolton’s voice, you’re in for a treat. The years haven’t done much to his voice, he can still belt ’em out. But the songs… there are some extremely strange choices here. I mean, a new version of ”When A Man Loves A Woman”? Why? A ”ballad version” of ”Jack Sparrow” that’s less than two minutes long? Why? A song called ”Cupid” from ”Michael Bolton’s Big Sexy Valentine’s Day Special”? Is that a movie?
I’ve always kind of liked the song ”Stand By Me” and Bolton’s version isn’t too bad. ”I Will Always Love You” is a duet with Dolly Parton, but I think it might have been better as an understated Bolton solo track. Bolton’s version of ”Old Time Rock & Roll” is surprisingly powerful, proving that the rocker inside Bolton is still alive. ”Somewhere Over The Rainbow” and ”As Time Goes By” are well-sung elevator music though. As for the ”Jack Sparrow” version, I was getting excited about it, but then it was already over… Ahoy! It surely could have been extended to three minutes just as well, maybe with a new verse and a bridge or something?