Thu. Aug 11th, 2022

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Album Review: Engelbert Humperdinck – Engelbert Calling

3 min read

Englebert Humperdinck has come calling once again but why should you answer? Well for a start his new record Engelbert Calling is full of impressive duets featuring Engelbert and a cast of musical talent from across the ages.

Layout 1It is a list spanning from the likes of Olivia Newton John, Sir Cliff Richards all the way through to Gene Simmons. There can be no doubt it is an impressive list but is it just a gimmick to boost record sales, or do the tracks live up to the talent featured across Engelbert Calling?

Engelbert, for those unfamiliar, is known for straightforward, no fuss love songs, most of which epitomize cheese grated on top of cheese. Despite all the cheese they still have a certain emotional appeal, his body of work definitely has the ability to bring out your inner sap. Engelbert Calling lives up to this, in parts. The new record is made up of new selections, old hits that have been reimagined as well as a sprinkling of imaginative covers.

Most impressive from Englebert’s new selection is Something About The Way You Look Tonight which features the iconic Sir Elton John. It captures in part not only John’s incredible voice but also the Humperdinck’s talents. The two harmonise beautifully for the strongest chorus Engelbert has produced on this new record. However, a lot of the credit on the song could be given to John who really shows why he is one of the most well acclaimed artist’s in pop music.

Other new selection on the track include duets with both his son and daughter – Bradley (Father and Son) and Louise Dorsey (Better) – who show off their voices, both capture a great dynamic with their father.

Also present on the record is hit-song Spanish Eyes this time featuring Il Divo, although before you hear it you may be inclined to think it has been included to capitalise on previous popularity the new reworking, with the operatic Il Divo, provides some new powerful vocalising to an old classic.

Not all of the new record hits the mark as well quite so well. Engelbert and Olivia Newton John taking on Shirley Bassey’s Never Never Never doesn’t really hold up to the original and feels like filler material featuring a big name. It does seem as if some previous hits have been reworked into duets in order to help boost the album’s appeal rather than Engelbert really connecting well with his musical partners. This isn’t true of the whole record, but is true in parts, such as Make You Feel My Love, which covers Bob Dylan’s original and features Willie Nelson but for all the talent involved it doesn’t really work as well as it should.

The amount of content on Engelbert Calling will keep fans happy. While parts of the record might be worth sending straight to voicemail, the majority is refreshing and worth being a sap about. A great gift for those of us who need some more Parmesan in our lives.