Harry Connick Jr.’s latest album is a little different from his standard fare. That Would Be Me covers a variety of styles over 11 tracks, some decidedly more effective than others, which makes for a decently varied album. A different kind of beast compared to Every Man Should Know and the jazz albums that preceded it. There’s not enough to it to call it amazing, but it manages to hold your interest for most of its run-time.
The album’s true highlights are the moments where it verges into gospel territory. Opening track (I Like It When You) Smile opens the album on a positive note, with a heavy percussive focus and a gospel chorus making for a strong opening statement. Harry’s style of singing verges extremely close to rapping as well, which is initially surprising but adds a nice little touch to the song. (I Do) Like We Do mixes organ and more gospel choirs for a more mid-tempo take that works well in conjunction with Smile, but also feels more natural and enjoyable without the inclusion of the rapping segments.
Where Prisoners Drown is the most unique of the gospel tracks, with the verses taking influence from blues music with an additional string section over the top, leading into an R&B influenced chorus with the gospel choir and brass instruments appearing once more. The juxtaposition of sound between choruses and verses makes it particularly engaging. Outside of these gospel tracks, Songwriter stands out for its simple alt pop sound, being more enjoyable than the album’s ballads and working well alongside the gospel tracks that come before it.
The remaining songs aren’t exactly terrible, but don’t manage to capture your attention. The songs on the album are all pleasant, but in most cases that’s the most that can be said about them. That Would Be Me is enjoyable in the moment, but it’s also an album that won’t stick with you long once the final note has been played.