Now before I get into the album review, let me preface this with that I am a fan of Michael Bolton’s earlier work starting with his 1983 release ‘Michael Bolton’ which had “Fool’s Game” up until ‘Time, Love & Tenderness’ in 1991. After that it started to go down hill for me as he was doing way too many covers. More covers than originals, which is disappointing. He was also getting further and further from his original rock roots (listen to his early releases and you will hear what I am talking about).
Several months back, I heard Michael was signing with Frontiers Records Srl and I was actually excited to hear that as Frontiers is a great record label and they are a ROCK record label. They have brought back many bands of my youth and signed them including Night Ranger and Stryper and now Michael Bolton.
Imagine my utter disappointment when I heard the new Michael Bolton album was a cover album of movie songs called ‘Songs of Cinema’. Wow!! It is just what I wanted (heavy, heavy sarcasm)! I told myself going into it, I would keep an open mind and give it a solid listen…which I feel I did for about 30 seconds.
What songs did he cover? I will tell you.
It starts off with “When A Man Loves A Woman”. Hasn’t he done that one before? Why yes he has, but this one is different…it is the 2017 Version. Oh yeah, that is right…I am supposed to keep an open mind. I am sorry, but I can’t. That ship has sailed. When the first song is a rehash of an old song that you have already covered, you lost me. The original one he did back in 1991 was so much better.
Maybe the next song will get better…NOPE!!! “Stand By Me” has been done so many times by so many people why would I ever want to hear it again if it is not done by Ben E. King.
We get to song # 3 and I finally get something I like a little. It is the song “I’ve Got a Woman”. I feel he could have done it better with a little more passion and soul, but compared to what I have heard already and what is to come, it is one my favorites on the album which isn’t saying much.
Next up is one of the most iconic songs ever done in a movie, “I Will Always Love You”, which was made famous by the one and only, Whitney Houston. He even brought in the song writer, the great Dolly Parton, to help him out which gave me hope. However, it is another miss for me as the songs fell flat with me. All the songs pretty much lack heart and passion.
The lackluster performance continues with “Old Time Rock & Roll” and “Heard It Through the Grapevine”. When we get to the song “Cupid”, it gets so bad I start substituting lyrics. Where the song goes “Cupid, Draw back your Bow”, I changed it to “Stupid, This album Blows”.
And to make matters worse, he even covers “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”. WHY? The next song “As Time Goes By” is about as exciting as I expected by this point and I am lucky I haven’t fallen asleep yet.
He ends the album with the “Jack Sparrow (Ballad)” and I thought really, this is a great song of cinema. Have I ever heard this song before? Maybe I am missing something, but I don’t understand this selection. And after listening to it, I still don’t understand.
- “When A Man Loves A Woman (2017 Version)” – Delete
- “Stand By Me” – Delete
- “I’ve Got A Woman” – Keeper
- “I Will Always Love You (Feat. Dolly Parton)” – Delete
- “Old Time Rock & Roll” – Delete
- “Heard It Through the Grapevine” – Delete
- “Cupid” – Delete
- “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” – Delete
- “As Time Goes By” – Delete
- “Jack Sparrow (Ballad)” – Delete
1 keeper out 10 songs – 10% (0.5 out 5 stars). I am not sure what I can add to what I have already said above. This was a complete and utter waste of time for me. Why he couldn’t do an album of originals, I have no idea. That would have been a much better album. However, it is not the worst album I have heard (Hey Meatloaf!!). This album could win a Grammy next year for maybe comedy album of the year as I feel that was more the intention (too harsh????). At least he still looks great on the album cover!! Part of me feels this might have been a money grab for Frontiers to break into bigger markets, but I hope that wasn’t the case. They are still an awesome record company though.
I am hoping his Netflix special ‘Michael Bolton’s Big, Sexy Valentine’s Day Special” is better (Seriously, he has a NetFlix special)