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Tony Desare: Last First Kiss

As this sophomore outing ably demonstrates, New Yorker Tony DeSare has earned his place within the post-millennial crooner renaissance, settling into a comfortable berth between the pop hipsterism of Michael Buble and the more refined cool of Peter Cincotti. Of the standards that fill roughly two-thirds of the album, most, including “You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To” and “Oh, Look at Me Now,” echo the laid-back ease and authority of John Pizzarelli (and owe a sizeable debt to Pizzarelli’s phrasing).

Elsewhere, DeSare’s jaunty “They Can’t Take That Away From Me” is distinctly Sinatra-esque and his stripped-bare “How Deep Is the Ocean” is stunning in its heartfelt honesty. He also takes an interesting approach to Carole King’s “I Feel the Earth Move,” reinterpreting it as a dreamy ballad with the gentlest hint of a bossa nova undercurrent. And DeSare’s songwriting seems to be maturing at the same rapid pace as his singing. Of the four originals included here, two in particular-“Let’s Just Stay In,” reminiscent of the daiquiri-and-décolletage seductiveness of Jackie Gleason’s sticky orchestral efforts, and the kiss-and-tell “Come On Strong” with its ring-a-ding-ding, Cahn-and-Van Heusen vibe-move past mere retro derivativeness to prove impressively polished.

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