Customer Reviews: Music Is Better Than Words
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VINE VOICEon September 28, 2011
I'm not really familiar with MacFarlane's biggest claims to fame--I don't really watch Family Guy, although I have seen a few episodes. I'm not even certain what made me pop this CD in the player--but boy am I glad that I did! I love big band music, love the rat pack, love the 40's and 50's style of music. This CD is a wonderful homage to that era; the orchestra is crisp, exciting with drenchingly melodic strings, playful flutes, and an elegant tempo throughout. But the real winner is Seth's voice! It is warm, warm, warm--like a wonderful thick robe you put on while sitting by the fire. His tone recalls Sinatra without being overly derivative, and his technique is marvellous--vibrato right on key. Melody is king here, beautiful melodies, wonderfully sung. This album has instantly earned itself a place next to some of my favorite big band/crooner albums, and will fit alongside them without irony. A delight, really a delight, and I am sitting here with a giant smile on my face listening to this record. Pick it up if you love Sinatra, Dino, and the guys, and give it a spin. Groovy.
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on August 24, 2012
Music Is Better Than Words I have a 55 year history of collecting music and when I heard Seth MacFarlane's voice on SIRIUSly Sinatra satellite broadcast I immediately walked over to listen. If you like any of the well recorded male voices of the last twenty plus years, i.e., Michael Feinstein, Harry Connick, Jr., John Pizzarelli and Michael Buble, you will absolutely love Mr. MacFarlane's vocals. In his very erudite liner notes, Mr. MacFarlane eloquently explains what he, his producer and recording engineer were attempting to accomplish with this exemplary recording. I can only add that they achieved an A+ for effort AND results.

The choice of tunes was outstanding and, again, an A+ for picking songs that have not been sung ad nauseam. The only quibble I have in this respect is the choice of "Laura." Though it could be argued that this is an often recorded tune, you cannot find fault with Mr. MacFarlane's performance of this 'chestnut.' In fact his performance of all these tunes is especially good.

A rare Sinatra single from 1953, entitled "Anytime, Anywhere" gets a particularly great treatment with respect to the arrangement and performance. He and Norah Jones do a fabulous duet with "Two Sleepy People." A Van Heusen and Cahn number, "Love Won't Let You Get Away," is performed as another great duet with Sara Bareilles. I know this number from a favorite LP by Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney entitled "Fancy Meeting You Here." Ms. Clooney also does a version of this tune on her Concord Records LP (CD?) "Rosemary Clooney Sings the Music of Jimmy Van Heusen." This newer duet version cedes no ground to the lovely original. The only original song was the final track co-written by Mr. MacFarlane entitled "She's Wonderful Too." Surprisingly, this tune works well with the older material produced on this CD.

In the end, if you enjoy this style of American Popular Song, you will love Mr. MacFarlane's first, and hopefully not last, effort.
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on September 27, 2011
It's great to see someone with a good voice keeping this style of music alive. It's actually a good album with unique works.

edit: PS: You should really read the booklet. It amazes me the great lengths they took to make this sound like the olden days while recording this.
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on September 28, 2011
Easily the finest album of pop standards ever recorded by a cartoon dog, Seth MacFarlane's swinging tribute to the "golden age" of pop albums is astonishingly enjoyable. Joel McNeely's sprightly, overblown arrangements fit the creator of TV's "Family Guy" like a splendidly tailored suit. MacFarlane's full and warm baritone makes this collection far more essential than just some run-of-the-mill celebrity vanity project (yes, Mr. Laurie, I'm talking about you).

If you have a fondness for the great pop LP's of the mid-to-late 1950's (Sinatra, Como, Bennett, even Jackie Gleason's collections), this will make you very happy - and not in any post-modern ironic way. MacFarlane MEANS this stuff! After using the great Broadway and American songbooks as fodder for his tasteless - but hugely funny - animated empire, MacFarlane's sincere respect for the material and the era is obvious and very vivid on this disc/slab of MP3's.

Later this winter, you can even play this while sitting next to the fire with a brandy - the way Seth obviously meant you to hear it.
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on October 14, 2011
Takes me back to listening to music at my parents cocktail parties. I had a "listen to this and tell me who is singing" contest and no one guessed although someone said, "why do I hear Brian from Family Guy?" I'm going to add it to my 85-year old father's ipod.
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on January 11, 2012
I loved every song from this album. Has an old Sinatra feel to it but with modern situations and ideals. I love it and I hope he makes another one in the future.
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on December 23, 2012
Yes, that's right. Seth McFarlane, the goofball genius behind Stewie and Peter on "Family Guy" pays playful homage to some of the standards and showtunes of the '30's and 40's.

And here's the thing: it's actually really, really good!

McFarlane lends his considerable vocal ability to covering a set of lushly orchestrated pieces from the early part of the 20th century. Backed by a full orchestra, he pays respect to a full range of tunes, from "Anytime, Anywhere" to "Love Won't Let You Get Away." He lets his voice savor the melodies, playfully crooning out the notes to songs he clearly loves and has tremendous respect for. Rather than parody the material, he digs it out of his attic chest, dusts it off and gives it a good polish here for us to enjoy.

What a treat!
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on November 1, 2011
This release of songs by Mr. MacFarlane has to be THE biggest music surprise of 2011 - who would have EVER suspected the voice behind Peter, Stewie, and Brian would have such an incredible vocal range????!!! Listen to the samples of the CD offered by, then decide for yourself. If you purchase the CD, be sure to read the liner notes - not only can Mr. MacFarlane sing, but is quite articulate as well. Should he ever decide to put his cartooning days behind him, he would do perfectly fine with a singing career, competing with the likes of Harry Connick, Jr. and Michael Buble. I would only have two questions for him at this point: When are you going to do a Christmas CD?; and Will you ever do a concert tour?
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on March 5, 2013
I watched Seth MacFarlane host the Oscars and was a bit shocked at his voice. I had no idea. Even then, this album blew me away. He has gone above the other new crooners to pick some of the non-standard standards and blow them out of the park. His producer points out that "almost every vocal and orchestral performance on this recording is a live complete take with no editing". What a testament to a wildly talented man (and his orchestra).
One little side note- The orchestra is listed in the same sized print and gets a whole page in the notes. That is impressive. They deserve it.
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on December 19, 2011
If you've listened to Seth's musical talents on Family Guy, and you're a fan of his musical numbers, then this is the album for you. This is not meant for Sinatra purists or anything like that. But if you would like a great re-telling of some fantastic songs with the same spirit and mindset of the "Good 'ol Days," then this is it. Seth definitely delivers in his style and bravado of translating the classics into the 21st century. It's evident that he's truly passionate for this era and its music. This is no joke album, no parody, no satire. This is just a fan doing a wonderful album of selected songs.
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