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Paul Anka's Rock Swings.

A quick time out from the usual blogging. A quick music review:

You'll either really love this CD, or really hate it. A collection of jazzy covers of rock songs, it's called Rock Swings. Paul Anka is the artist.

Yes, Paul Anka.


The songs Anka covers:

1. It's My Life

2. True

3. Eye of the Tiger

4. Everybody Hurts

5. Wonderwall

6. Blackhole Sun

7. It's a Sin

8. Jump

9. Smells Like Teen Spirit

10. Hello

11. Eyes Without a Face

12. Lovecats

13. Way You Make Me Feel

14. Tears in Heaven

Listened to almost the entire album recently on Sirius Satellite radio. It is pretty hilarious stuff.

The amazon.com customer reviews are decidedly mixed:

The Good-

fivestars.gif I dig it!, June 9, 2005

Reviewer: Lisa Mychols (California)

I think this CD is freakin' amazing! First of all, you have a guy with a fantastic voice and amazing talent. Then you have this swinging sizzle production and beautiful orchestration.

Paul Anka brought these covers into a classic genre with not an ounce of pretension that I can see (unlike a couple "American songbook" artists I have heard lately-ugh!) He is sort of on the same path as the Michael Buble' thing but yet different...I think it's pretty cool! I find it to be one of the best things I have heard lately.
Oh, and when I first heard his Michael Jackson cover on the radio it caught my ear which rarely happens! I was like who is that! I need to get it! It's genuine stuff, regardless of, "oh my gosh! He is covering...oh forbid a NIRVANA SONG!" please! Get over that. If you don't like this kind of music you might not like this-big deal why are you even here? For the rest of us- don't pass this one up!

fivestars.gif Oh God...what is going on? This is actually very cool., June 9, 2005

Reviewer: D. Hill (Dallas, TX)

Its probably not suitable for IQ 50 (cent) fans, but this is targeted for a very specific audience and its actually great.

Lounge-cover versions of rock tunes, including grunge staples by Nirvana and Soundgarden have been done before, but not by an artist of this caliber. The arrangements are incredible and the musicianship is excellent. Plus, its great for a little humor to find yourself listening to a scotch-sipping Vegas-lounge smooth version of music you used to headbang to in your first car, while wearing stylishly dirty, mis-matched clothes.

Probably the vast majority of music fans won't quite know what to make of this. If you fall into that 27-35 age bracket and have any sense of humor or appreciation for diverse music styles, then this is one CD worth forking over the cash for. Otherwise, continue downloading... :)

The Bad-

twostars.gif Don't know if I like this or not, June 9, 2005

Reviewer: Elrayox (Chicago)

His voice sounds great, the band sounds great. But when he sings "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and the lines "I feel stupid and contagious", well it just sounds silly. Same with a lot of the other songs.

The Ugly-

onestar.gif Oh my god!, June 9, 2005

Reviewer: Catherine "Catherine" (Manhattan)

Oh my god! Smells Like Teen Spirit?!....Jump?!... oh my god! Wasn't there anyone with the balls to stop him, I mean oh my god! Are they kidding with this?!

onestar.gif One word: Travesty, June 9, 2005

Reviewer: mgbit (US)
Paul Anka's attempt to cover Nirvana brings to mind a comment that Thom Yorke made upon seeing a sweater of the recently dead Kurt Cobain showcased under glass at a Hard Rock Cafe: "the sickest f***ing thing I've ever seen."

I tend to identify with the positive reviews; the songs are uniquely Anka's, and he is not mocking the songs. Anka smoothly and classily treats the songs like old standards. You might not even recognize the songs as if you weren't paying close attention (in part, because of Anka's clear articulation, which many of the originals lack). It's just feel-good music in so many ways.

Ultimately, though, this CD (though not gimmicky) could probably wear thin on someone after the novelty wears off. Initially, it's hard not to enjoy the music, but a few months from now, it might begin gathering dust.

Posted by Will Franklin · 10 June 2005 11:40 AM


Paul Anka is quite accomplished and is considered a great musical writer. He is from a time when music was really music! He actually knows how to compose music!

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at June 10, 2005 12:15 PM

I think Paul Anka wrote one of my favorite songs! I sing it to my puppy all the time... It is called Puppy Love! Donny Osmond sang it in the 70's and it was quite popular! I think his most famous song was called Diana! I can't imagine him singing smells like teen spirit though! But...I just may have to go out and get it anyway!

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at June 10, 2005 08:25 PM