TONY BENNETT & K.D. LANG A Wonderful World (Columbia/Sony) Rating: NN Rating: NN
There's something about this overly polished boomer-friendly record that makes you feel dirty, like digging those slick Gap commercials with hipsters like Luscious Jackson and Rufus Wainwright before you realize you're witnessing a sellout in action. Cool-again Bennett's been mining the tribute territory for a while, with discs dedicated to Ol' Blue Eyes and Fred Astaire, but those made more sense than this album of tunes made great by Louis Armstrong. Lang's honeyed alto is lovely -- at times channelling Judy Garland (!) -- but Bennett is all Vegas here, with halting, hammy phrasing and a too-casual delivery. Face it, Lang and Bennett are just no Ella and Louis. Their vocal blend isn't unpleasant, and they attempt some cute "he said-she said" exchanges, but they're missing the chemistry -- and soul --of those old Satchmo classics.