It Had to Be You... The Great American Songbook Image

Mixed or average reviews - based on 8 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 25 Ratings

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  • Summary: With a title like that, you pretty much know what to expect from Mr. Stewart on this outing, which includes standards such as "They Can't Take That Away from Me" and "I'll Be Seeing You." To make matters worse, Dave Koz and Arturo Sandoval guest.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 8
  2. Negative: 2 out of 8
  1. But after moving past those first moments of seeming artist/song incongruity, the listener will discover an album full of pleasant surprises and vocals that show Stewart in a most flattering light.
  2. 70
    A tasteful selection of pre-war era classics in a supper club jazz setting.
  3. The whole thing sounds good on paper, but in practice, it's a bit of a mixed bag.
  4. Here, he sings against syrupy, obvious orchestral arrangements, driven by a beat that sometimes seems on the verge of a nap -- all of which encourages Stewart's worst habits: He sounds lazy, glib and uninvolved, just the opposite of when he still mattered.
  5. 40
    The arrangements are banal, but the tunes are exquisite, and his voice, more worn now, is recorded intimately. [Dec 2002, p.148]
  6. The drab orchestrations offer tepid schmaltz, not romance. [Dec 2002, p.112]
  7. 20
    Though The Great American Songbook is bad, it's not shamefully bad--if only because it's too tasteful to risk sinking that low. [#11, p.143]

See all 8 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 22
  2. Negative: 4 out of 22
    Jan 15, 2003
    For anyone who likes ' crooner songs ' this CD is absolutely one of the best!!!! I have enjoyed ALL of Rod Stewart's songs over the years (yes, even the dreaded disco song "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy) and this collection is great. I highly recommend this CD to anyone who appreciates these great old classic jazz songs. Expand
  2. GiuseppeR
    Jul 7, 2006
    A particular voice for some of the best songs of the last century. A great interpretation with very good arrangements. The official critics didn't appreciate this CD because it is too easy to love it. It's difficult to tire to listen to it. You wish to dance, to sing, to beat time. What else is the music? Expand
  3. MistyC
    Oct 30, 2006
    I LOVE this CD along with ALL of Rods others. Only being 24 I hadn't listened to this type of music before thanks Rod.
  4. LindaH
    Nov 5, 2002
    This is a excellent album of old songs. Stewart sings all the standards in a way I have not heard before.
  5. AlvaroG.
    May 4, 2008
    Why so bad ratings??? the whole series of The Great American Songbook are great!!
  6. SarahP
    Dec 17, 2002
    It sounds like he is singing in the shower, but he is still a better singer than me.
  7. DLaw
    Dec 12, 2003
    I thought these classic songs were indestructible...and then I heard Rod have a go. This could well be one of the worst albums of all time. It's simply shocking - avoid at all costs. Expand

See all 22 User Reviews