[1 November 2007]
Unlike, say, William Shatner, who records contemporary songs for little more than the kitsch value of it all, Paul Anka gives his big band interpretations of radio hits a whole lot of sincere skill. Anka sounds great on these thirteen familiar tunes. One might quibble, however with the “Classic” part of this CD’s title. Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now” and Anka’s own “My Way” represent about the only two classics contained within. But the same cannot be said for The Killers’ “Mr. Brightside” or Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time”—at least not yet. But whether classic or not, it’s still fun to hear Anka dig his teeth into “Get Here”, “Bad Day”, and “Against the Wind”. Peppy horn-drenched arrangements also add to the fun. Had they called this what it really is—relatively recent hit songs performed Anka’s way—it would have been more accurate. But slight inaccuracy aside, it’s still pretty good.