Chester Bennington Dies

Taking a Chance on Love

Jane Monheit's pitch-perfect, full-ranged voice exhibits pleasant phrasing, a flair for the theatrical, a touch of huskiness, a pinch of sass and a know-how for singing from earth and sky at the same

Jane Monheit's pitch-perfect, full-ranged voice exhibits pleasant phrasing, a flair for the theatrical, a touch of huskiness, a pinch of sass and a know-how for singing from earth and sky at the same time. On the surface, she's flawless; however, at age 26, she has yet to reach beyond the lovely and charming and strike deep soul. On her highly touted Sony Classical debut—and fourth CD overall—Monheit delivers 12 tunes from the MGM movie musical songbook, including three Cole Porters, two Jerome Kern/Oscar Hammerstein songs and a newly recorded rendition of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" that rolls through the end credits of new film "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow." Like good Hollywood films of yore, Monheit sings fantasy—attractive, easy on the ears, fully and smartly produced. But with the exception of a couple of numbers—a straight-from-the-heart interpretation of George & Ira Gershwin's "Embraceable You" and a mysterious orchestral take on "Dancing in the Dark"—these songs do not feel fully lived-in. They're pretty but rarely alluring. Like her predecessor Diana Krall, stay tuned for more mature offerings.—DO