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That's Life (Bonus Track Version)

Russell Watson

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Album Review

With one of the longest-running careers in the classical-pop crossover market, Russell Watson returned in 2007 with a collection of songs he considered his favorites, and far from being a crossover album, That's Life was a very traditional MOR/easy listening set of songs, originally sung by the likes of Frank Sinatra ("That's Life," "Strangers in the Night," "You Make Me Feel So Young"), Matt Monro ("Born Free"), Tony Bennett ("I Left My Heart in San Francisco"), and Nat King Cole ("When I Fall in Love," "Let There Be Love," "Smile"). Watson gave every song its due respect, faithfully reproducing the sounds of the great singers, and recorded the album at the Capitol studios in Los Angeles. That's Life was made more poignant by the fact — which was very well-known by the time of its release — that the recording had been split in two, beginning in September 2006 and having to be put on hold while he flew back to London to have an operation on a brain tumor. Then he returned to Los Angeles to complete the record, having recovered, only to have a relapse later in 2007. So having made hit albums since 2000 with mixes of classical and pop repertoire (for example, on his debut album he followed La Donne e Mobile with "Bridge Over Troubled Water" and "Vienna"), his 2007 effort was filled with romantic love songs and standards. A nice, relaxing, pleasant album — but these renditions lacked the personalities of the originals (Watson would really have to be something special to match them), and the songs came across as cabaret versions, even upmarket Las Vegas-style cabaret but still nothing special, and performed equally as well by hundreds of singers around the world. On the final track he was joined by soul singer Alexander O'Neal, but their voices simply did not mix, and one got the impression that the two singers had never even met. The backing musicians didn't help either, performing in a most routine way and giving the songs an even blander feel than otherwise was necessary. Still, Russell Watson has made of career of singing easy listening, easy-on-the-ear songs, and this album was a fine example of the genre.

Customer Reviews

Russell continues to amaze

Russell has displayed a rather incredible range of musical abilities over the past few years. His classical/operatic work remains his strongpoint (listen to Nessun Dorma for proof). His inspiration/rock oriented "Where my heart will take me", the theme to Star Trek: Enterprise showed a flare for more mainstream, popular music. Now "That's Life" brings us a new flavour of Watson's voice, this time, in the style of swing. Unfortunetly, his first attempt at this genre is less than impressive. It pales in comparrison to the work of Michael Buble among others and he generally sounds like he is out of his depth. The vocals are flat, and his articulation is a little sloppy. It actually sounds like he is trying to combine opera with swing. Whether or not this was his intention, the fact remains that it doesn't work. Russell has a remarkable voice for the opera, and even rock/pop. But when it comes to swing, he has a way to go.

Very good

This Cd is actually very good their are several great songs on this cd, a good swing cd from Mr. Watson

That's Life Review

Russell Watson burst on to the scene a number of years ago now with an amazing voice that captivated many countries. Whilst it's great to see and hear another album, "The Voice" is just not the same as experienced in his first two albums. The classical Tenor voice is no where near as powerful as it has been and the song selections perhaps have contributed to this. Overall, Russell Watson's first two albums were 5 out of 5, sadly, this one is just a 2. Oh well... That's Life!


Born: 23 November 1966 in Salford, Lancashire, England

Genre: Vocal

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

British tenor Russell Watson became an opera singer by freak occurrence. While he was regularly singing in bars and clubs in the Manchester suburbs, an owner of one such venue told Watson that he thought his voice was better suited for opera and requested that he learn Puccini's "Nessun Dorma," which he did and promptly added to his...
Full Bio
That's Life (Bonus Track Version), Russell Watson
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Customer Ratings

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