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Michael Andrew and Swingerhead
Destination Moon and
Michael Andrew Pays Tribute to Frank Sinatra

Michael Andrew has had a busy year. In between shuttling back and forth between Orlando, Florida, and Merv Griffin's Coconut Club in southern California every week, the Swingerhead front man managed to put together two new albums: Destination Moon and Michael Andrew Pays Tribute to Frank Sinatra. The former presents the crooner in the types of modern big band arrangements we're accustomed to hearing him in, whereas the latter offers Andrew's rawer renditions of the Chairman's best.

Destination Moon is a long awaited follow up to Swingerhead's 1998 hit record She Could Be A Spy. Comprised mainly of covers except for two bonus tracks, the album features Andrew's smooth, Bobby Darin style crooning over the familiar horn arrangements of Swingerhead. The songs that grab your ear most are the classics "Angel Eyes," "That Old Black Magic," "Blue Moon," and "Fly Me To The Moon," as well as the highly danceable "Papa Loves Mambo." The bonus tracks are the "swoungy" Swingerhead original, "Hey Baby, I'm Home," and the tiki-rockin' "It's My Bachelor Pad."

On Michael Andrew Pays Tribute To Frank Sinatra, the modern-day crooner offers his renditions of 17 songs that Old Blue Eyes made famous. The pace of Tribute often jumps abruptly from faster, Billy May-style big band numbers to slow love songs. This could be easily solved by better track placement, but the songs themselves aren't too effected. All of Sinatra's best know hits are covered here, from "Come Fly With Me" to "Night and Day," "Summer Wind," and more. The classic "I'll Never Smile Again" is presented as if it were an old record playing on your turntable, including static pops, while "All of Me" boasts a clear and strong horn-heavy orchestral arrangement.

Then there's Andrew's rendition of "My Way," which begs the question, "What was he thinking?" The Beatles meets Neal Diamond meets *NSYNC arrangement is nothing short of jarring next to the classic renditions of the Chairman's hits. Andrew adds wailing guitar leads and that annoying voice "vocoder" that Cher has used a bit too much. On an otherwise solid tribute album, this is the one big miss. But in signature Michael Andrew fashion, he did it his way.

—Smilin' Buddha Joe



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