As Time Goes By . . . The Great American Songbook Vol. II

Last year, Rod Stewart stepped back in time with "It Had to Be You . . . The Great American Songbook." The collection of pop standards debuted at No.

Last year, Rod Stewart stepped back in time with "It Had to Be You . . . The Great American Songbook." The collection of pop standards debuted at No. 4 on The Billboard 200. Sure, the artist's take on revered chestnuts is an acquired taste. But it is a flavor that has been enjoyed by millions around the world. For an encore, Stewart delivers this second volume, which finds him mining such treasures as "Don't Get Around Much Anymore," "Smile" and "Someone to Watch Over Me." Produced by Richard Perry, Phil Ramone and others, the collection works in some places (a delicious duet with Cher, "Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered," and " 'Till There Was You") and falters in others ("I Only Have Eyes for You," "I'm in the Mood for Love"). For the title track, Stewart teams with Queen Latifah, and like the Cher partnership, it works remarkably well.—MP