by Constance Tucker
Katharine McPhee‘s new album, I Fall In Love Too Easily is out now, the 33-year-old American Idol alum returned with her fifth studio album on Friday (November 17). The 10-track collection of romantic standards was produced by Don Was and was recorded at the famed Capitol Recording Studios. Her beautiful voice is front and center on this gorgeous and romantic album, the instrumentation is there and felt, but never gets in the way as McPhee’s voice carries each tune. McPhee’s renditions of these timeless standards are stunning, fresh, and easy on the ears. Her vocal control is breath taking and her warm voice is full of beauty and character. McPhee explains, “I wanted to do a record people could make out to. It’s the most romantic music in the world. All the songs tell stories. That’s why I love them so much.”
Her effortless take on “All the Way” finds the vocalist walking a thin line between vulnerability and a self-absurd romantic. McPhee’s voice is warm, and we get to enjoy every nuance because the instrumentation is kept to a minimum, piano, bass and drums with brushes is a full as it gets until McPhee is done with the melody and the saxophone solo takes the lead. McPhee trades phrases with the saxophone for the verse, the scatting is relaxed, and you will not find any bebop ornaments, but mostly bluesy and a cross between country and pop inflections. This approach adds to the wide appeal of the album, but regardless of the style, McPhee’s voice is beautiful.
There is a unique medley of “I’ll Be Seeing You” and “Some Other Time” that has a wonderful string arrangement. Again, McPhee’s full voice is front and center, singing with just piano accompaniment for the statement of “I’ll Be Seeing You.” Throughout this track, McPhee’s vocal command is astonishing. High notes held with authority, quiet low register whispers and her ability to convey romance throughout, her voice is stirring. This is music to fall in love with or keep the romantic fire burning, either way this record creates and ambience of relaxation and intimacy.
McPhee’s vocal execution of these standards are flawless. Her vocal style has subtle pop influences, but can also easily fit into any jazz standard catalogue. McPhee’s voice is powerful, and she is in complete control, while still conveying a sense of vulnerability that depicts a hopeless romantic. This silky smooth vocal set with expertly crafted arrangements and mixing of multiple standard into one arrangement, mash-up, is excellent and will go perfect with a bottle of wine, relaxing light, and holding someone special close.