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Customer Review

42 of 55 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Marketing fad...useless rehash with little emotion., October 26, 2012
By 
This review is from: Viva Duets (Audio CD)
Mr Anthony Dominic Benedetto has just released "another duets " collection.
While the previous two installments clocked above one hour, this is above half an hour of much of the same, in English and Spanish, the language of his occasional partners.
Overall, I'm not sure what to make of this album.
Bennett's voice shows increasing signs of age here, even if his interpretive skills are good throughout: nevertheless his voice "doesn't always blend that well with, say, the breathy R&B-inflected tenor of Romeo Santos, the gravelly Ricardo Arjona or the hammy delivery of Vincente Fernandez, who joins him on a ranchero-flavoured version of the Dean Martin hit Return To Me".F. Shepherd.
Some duets work, others don't, and I can't help but feel that many guests simply aren't suited to Tony Bennett's musical backing and the way he does his songs.
The track list shows no novelty: we have been hearing those songs from Tony over and over again, even on his previous Duets.
I have no idea who would listen to this.
The overall feeling is that there is "no feeling" at all, it's a sterile, useless re-hash in the current marketing fad.
Mr Bennett has done much better than that.
This, actually, is the lowest point of his bizarre career.
I keep enjoying his The Complete Tony Bennett / Bill Evans Recordings, Art of Excellence, Art of Romance and Perfectly Frank.
At his highest point, nobody bought his stuff, and now, at his lowest - and with help from his sons, Danny, his manager, and Dae, the sound engineer of his latest outings - he goes on top of Billboard charts...
But in all honesty, I agree with what Kurt B. Reighley writes: "More so than its predecessors, the third installment in Bennett's "Duets" franchise seems like an exercise in commerce, not art.
The 86 year-old jazz icon teams with a dozen Latin crossover stars, but rather than explore material that might follow this conceit to a logical -- and interesting -- conclusion, the program mostly rehashes songs and arrangements previously showcased on the first two "Duets" sets.
There's no bandoneon, no "Bésame Mucho."
The vocal performances display the chemistry fans expect -- when Marc Anthony turns up the heat on "For Once in My Life," Bennett follows suit -- but otherwise "Viva Duets" feels lifeless".
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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 26, 2012, 1:49:19 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 26, 2012, 1:55:27 AM PDT
Is there any reason for this release?
He has been doing duets from Playin' With My Friends: Bennett Sings The Blues...2001. More than 10 years. I am just wondering if it is time for him to stop.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 5, 2012, 12:25:12 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 5, 2012, 12:36:40 PM PST
Loida Cotto says:
Why would anyone who has an artistic value, stop just because? Of course there is a reason for this release, because he has a very large fan base. And he is big in the Latin community, yes, Latins like the blues, jazz, rock and roll, classical music opera...etc..etc...etc...! The fact that he released this cd with some of the many many talented Latin artist out there...is great! Okay, may not be your type of music, but to question why someone, an artist would just stop being an artist...just because...is like me asking, is there a reason for you, Miss Congeniality, to just stop breathing, just because?

Posted on Nov 10, 2012, 10:29:01 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 10, 2012, 10:32:19 PM PST
Pepper says:
The word was out Bennett had invited Roberto Carlos to do a duet with him. I first heard Roberto refused, as he also had refused Andrea Bocelli. Then in the Latin community, word was out Roberto had consented to join Bennett on a duets album. Roberto Carlos @ 71 is still at the top of his game and bigger than Tony Bennett ever dreamed of being.
I am 73, have a huge record/CD collection and I bought one Tony Bennett vinyl record back in the day, and never listened to it. I recall him being called into court for not paying child support and that doubled my lack of interest in him as a performer. I truly believe all the hoopla about Bennett today comes from the fact that he can still perform. He was always second and third best to Sinatra and if you'd like to hear a great romantic voice from the past, listen to Tony Martin.
Bennett has outlived those who outsold him in the good years. He had a certain amount of fame, but if he had passed 15 years ago, his records still would not be chosen over some of the great male singers of decades ago. I hope Roberto does not choose to sing with Bennett, although I wish he were better known to the non-hispanic American community. He is too good to sing Bennett's style and has written hundreds of beautiful songs that Bennett could not perform.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 10, 2012, 10:36:13 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 10, 2012, 10:37:04 PM PST
Pepper says:
Miss Congeniality: I agree. Breathing has nothing to do with suggesting a performer is past it and needs to save his legacy of music by not leaving behind sad reminders he is getting on. That's life. Another male singer whom I hope has stopped is Ray Price. His last albums have been very sad because his voice now is just a reminder of how great he once was.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 21, 2012, 3:01:55 PM PST
Bet'cha you wish you could even come close to his voice expecially at 86. I think he still has it and I am not alone. Soooo stop wondering!!!!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 21, 2012, 6:36:15 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 21, 2012, 6:40:43 PM PST
Pepper says:
Ernestilne: Looks like your comment is for Miss Congeniality. It's nice you still like Bennett, but I suspect you are young. If you'd been around when he had a modicum of popularity and Dean Martin, Sinatra, Johnny Mathis, etc. were bigger and better, you might understand what we mean. Bennett isn't bad now, but definitely not as good as he once was - and now he's putting out one duets album after another - which some artists do when they are trying to maintain some popularity and also a little support in putting a song over. It's great that he can still sing - but I still wouldn't buy one album of his today. We all have different tastes, but you are coming from more recent history with him than some of us who knew about him back in the day. So snotty comments are unnecessary and they don't impress anyone or change anyone's mind. We are all entitled to our own taste in music and trying to ridicule others because you don't agree with them does not belong on this venue. We will just blank your comments and ignore them as customers have done to another person's comment on this subject. Lighten up, my dear!

Posted on Jan 19, 2013, 12:28:54 AM PST
G. Misthos says:
"Bizarre career"?????????!!!!!! If you don't know what the hell you're talking about, don't share your opinion! Ridiculous statement.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 3, 2013, 9:08:05 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 19, 2013, 9:59:41 AM PDT
horniman says:
Well, in a way he had a "diverse" career, not like Frank Sinatra...
He's very popular now, but who knew him olnly 20 years ago?
Everything started with 1994 MTV Unplugged, in which he showcased for a wider and "younger" audience the Great American Songbook. Rock stars Elvis Costello and k.d. lang made guest appearances. And the album reached platinum record status in the United States and won the 1995 Grammy Awards for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance and Album of the Year.

As for this..."Viva...", it is hutterly horrible!

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 30, 2013, 2:21:00 PM PDT
A reader says:
Not sure why people have been dissing your comment. I agree with you completely. To call Tony Bennett's career "bizarre" is to know absolutely nothing about the man and his incredible history in American popular music. Essentially what Bennett did, with the help of his son, is create a second chapter that introduced him to a new generation of music lovers, through his Unplugged series and his tours with k.d. lang. But he was already well-known and loved by us Baby Boomers AND OUR PARENTS...so to us, he had never really gone away. It's the lack of awareness and historical context that causes some reviewers to say dumb things.

Posted on Apr 23, 2013, 8:09:34 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 23, 2013, 9:48:12 AM PDT
Balanced (humane) and beautifully-written review, deservedly top of the spotlight.

Particularly appreciated you pointing new sub-generations of listeners to the reasons why Mr. Bennett should be remembered -- Art of Excellence, Art of Romance (and The Movie Album) -- previous high-water marks of his remarkable career.

Your write well, with an economy of style that conveys so much in so few words: and a joy to read too. Who can ask for more. Well . . . more reviews from you, Tilak!

A fan in the frozen North. (This very comment makes me your fan -- under the Amazon reviewer rankings and voting system -- and fan votes do not count. Go figure.)

post script: a propos nothing but shared musical sensibilities . . .

I posted a moment ago to a thread ("call it a blog, Mark!") I have going in the How To (songwriting workshop) folder of the "forums" at the world's biggest website for musicians, HARMONY CENTRAL, citing this "humane," gentle rebuke -- and your pointing younger listeners to better examples of Mr. Bennett's 'shining hour' late-in-life recordings.

http://www.harmonycentral.com/t5/Songwriting-Workshop/A-great-melody-first-then-lyrics-only-THEN-vocals/m-p/35325441#M134317

Budding young song writers haven't contributed much, but tune in to see which "great old song/great singer" will next be celebrated; it just turned 492,000 (correct) "views." To coin a phrase: If you build it they will come. Hope you find your way over there, if the spirit moves you, Tilak.
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