Rod Stewart joins the ranks of rockers who have opted later in their careers to momentarily shift gears and tackle the lofty task of interpreting pop standards.

Rod Stewart joins the ranks of rockers who have opted later in their careers to momentarily shift gears and tackle the lofty task of interpreting pop standards. Of all the performers who have tried their hands at such challenging material, Stewart is perhaps the most initially odd match for songs like George & Ira Gershwin's "They Can't Take That Away From Me" and Cole Porter's "Everytime We Say Goodbye." It's hard not to hear raunch-rockers like "Hot Legs" echo in the back of your head while listening to him gamely croon amid lush strings and traditional jazz arrangements. But after moving past those first moments of seeming artist/song incongruity, the listener will discover an album full of pleasant surprises and vocals that show Stewart in a most flattering light.—LF

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