There's nothing revelatory in Tom Michael's interpretation of familiar music nor anything extraordinary in his song selections.

There's nothing revelatory in Tom Michael's interpretation of familiar music nor anything extraordinary in his song selections. The revelation, instead, is Michael's voice: pure, sweet, even pretty. And what's extraordinary is the cabaret singer's presentation—gentle but confident, warm and sincere. With spare arrangements, Michael puts a heartfelt spin on mostly well-known numbers from musical theater and pop songbooks, everything from Kurt Weill to Elton John, Rodgers & Hammerstein to Carole Bayer Sager. He chooses material appropriate to his earnest approach, eschewing comedy, tragedy, and sarcasm in favor of romance and self-expression. Written in the Stars doesn't have any gimmicks or slick production—it's just an earnest, guileless performance that speaks for itself.—WH

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