Michael Bolton is in his element in tossing off this 2003 collection—a very short one, it must be said—of fine old bluesy-romantic pieces. Gone for the moment is the flamboyant wall of musicians that backs up his more anthemic rock and roll pieces. The music here is supplied by a diminutive assortment of soft-spoken instrumentalists. All that’s missing is a smoky stage and a cover charge.
It’s enough to get a man to wondering about the possibilities that Bolton and, say, Diana Krall might team up on a similar collection in the future. Bolton, truth be told, needs the variety a second voice would bring to this style of intimate singing. His voice is distinctive, strong, assured, but not supple. The give-and-take of a duet would raise the bar here.
Bolton always assembles the best available package to make the music that happens behind him. The result? A light, appealing, exceedingly short tribute to songs well written, long ago.