Today, Frank Shiner released his new CD, The Real Me, after 15 years away from the music industry. The album contains 12 tracks that have all been previously released by other artists. While an album of cover songs might seem like a strange way to reintroduce himself, Shiner brings such freshness to these tracks that the songs have become brand new again.
Shiner released the first single off the CD, Feels Like Home, back in March. The song has made it to the Top 10 on the Hot AC charts and has remained there for the past several weeks. The song was previously reviewed and can be found here. Between the release of the single and today's album release, I interviewed Shiner. You can read the interview here and here.
The album contains tracks by Van Morrison (Brand New Day), Elvis Costello (Almost Blue), Tom Waits (Temptation and (Looking for) The Heart of Saturday Night), Joe Cocker (It's a Sin When You Love Somebody), Paul Simon (Nobody and Long Long Day), Bryan Ferry (To Turn You On) and Leonard Cohen (I'm Your Man). In addition, the album contains two songs written by the legendary blues great Doc Pomus - the title track The Real Me (recorded by Johnny Adams) and A World I Never Made (recorded by both B.B. King and Dr. John).
This is the perfect kind of album to put on after a hard day of work. Together with a nice glass of wine, it is the perfect relaxing soundtrack for your down time. While the mood of the album is relaxing, there are a couple of upbeat songs (To Turn You On and (Looking for) The Heart of Saturday Night) which will keep you alert and able to catch all the nuances of Shiner's voice and arrangements.
I was particularly impressed with Shiner's ability to take these songs of varied genres, especially the Pomus tracks, and turn them into his own creations. If you check out the interview, you will find out why he chose these songs, and what they mean to him.
My favorite tracks are the single, Feels Like Home, as well as the tracks written by Tom Waits and Bryan Ferry. This is definitely a great addition to your collection. Kick off your shoes, grab a glass of your favorite vino and let the music play - next stop, relaxation.