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Steve Tyrell: This Guy’s in Love

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If you’re ever in a music store and, for whatever unfathomable reason, feel the urge to buy either of Rod Stewart’s Great American Songbook albums, rest assured that there’s an easy antidote. Put the disc down, step away from the poseur rack, walk directly to the legit jazz vocal section and grab a copy of Steve Tyrell’s latest, This Guy’s in Love.

If Stewart (who I still tremendously respect as a rock icon) were capable of adding an ounce of originality to chestnuts like “It Had to Be You” and “My Heart Stood Still,” he’d likely sound an awful lot like the gravel-throated Tyrell. But unlike Stewart, whose treats such gems like they were disposable party favors, Tyrell’s rough magic is the real deal. The guy sings from his heart, not his wallet. In the past I’ve suggested Tyrell plays it too safe on his albums, each track handled with precisely the same conservative reverence. That complaint can again be made here, but to a significantly lesser degree.

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