Harry Connick Jr. was on the standards tip long before pop crooners like Rod Stewart, Boz Scaggs, Michael Bolton, and the like decided to mine the Great American Songbook for all it was worth. Only You includes a few durable tunes that have lost none of their luster over the ensuing decades: “My Blue Heaven,” “I Only Have Eyes for You,” and “The Very Thought of You.” Unsurprisingly, Connick handles these with taste and enthusiasm -- again, songs of this grand tradition have long been the foundation of his art, and he knows how to put them across. But Connick, an eclectic musician who has branched out in interesting directions over the years, uses this album to consciously expand his repertoire to include superior pop songs from the past 40-plus years, including the Platters hit “My Prayer,” the Ray Charles chestnut “You Don’t Know Me,” the Drifters's “Save the Last Dance for Me,” Stevie Wonder’s “For Once in My Life,” and the title track. (The New Orleans favorite “All These Things” is a wonderful left-field choice.) No matter the provenance, he imbues each with the Connick touch. The lineup's more contemporary feel gives the album a distinctive flavor -- this isn’t Connick jumping on any bandwagon. As his many fans will attest, he doesn’t have to.
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