Forget Rod Stewart, *this* is how you do the American songbook. With 12 standards from the ’20’s through the ’60’s — each loosely representing a month of the year — Emmy marches through each of these precious classics with military-like precision and every bit of the wide-range of emotion she displays during each heart-breaking and gut-wrenching episode of Showtime’s fabulous series Shameless, for which she deserves to win an Emmy.
From well-known songs like “These Foolish Things” and “Summer Wind” to more obscure tracks like “I’ll Be With You in Apple Blossom Time” and “I’m Looking Over A Four Leaf Clover,” she does each song just as much justice as those beloved singers who made them hits. I suppose it’s not much of a stretch for her to perform Judy Garland, but Frank Sinatra? His voice couldn’t be further removed from Emmy’s. And yet she sings “Summer Wind” with just as much charm — and that same winking eye vibe — that Sinatra delivered it with. She also performs “Pretty Paper” with just as much earnestness as Willie Nelson.
Given just how perfectly Emmy sings these songs, and how vibrant the music sounds, you might think she spent six months recording Sentimental Journey. In actuality, to help give the album its retro vibe, it was recorded in three days — that’s right, just THREE DAYS — with a LIVE band. (It was also recorded using vintage microphones and mastered to tape.) As a result, it sounds just as authentic as it does retro. You’d swear you’re listening to your parents’ dusty old records. My only complaint is that the album hasn’t been released on vinyl yet. -Michael McCarthy