Just because you love singing and have the money and profile to promote your product to the 'nth degree doesn't always make it musically viable. Failures are legion.
Happily, musicality is the one thing that ‘Family Guy’ creator Seth MacFarlane has going for him, and in spades.
On MacFarlane’s third studio album, No One Ever Tells You, his musicality is much to the fore in a series of songs reminiscent of Frank’s forays into theme albums, especially Only the Lonely. In fact MacFarlane has mentioned many times how much he loves the American Songbook, especially as interpreted by Sinatra, Tony Bennett and others, but as arranged by the masters like Billy May and Nelson Riddle. Here, MacFarlane enlists Joel McNeely as arranger, an Eastman alum, and adept at creating the same feeling Riddle did for Sinatra. And in recording the album at Abbey Road, MacFarlane enlisted the finest of London’s session/orchestral musicians. They sound amazing and very stylistically appropriate.
Much like Only the Lonely (he includes the song on the album), No One Ever Tells You is a set of torch songs that are sung so well that you’ll be transported to another time, another place. Success.
MacFarlane does not have an instrument like Sinatra, Tormé or Bublé, but can match many of the best male vocalists like Jack Jones, Mark Murphy and Steve Lawrence with his beautiful delivery of the lyrics — stresses and valleys in all the right places. You believe in him to tell the story and he delivers.
Famous standards such as Guess I’ll Hang My Tears Out To Dry, Goodbye, Little Dream, Goodbye, These Foolish Things and I Only Miss Her When I Think of Her are interspersed with many I did not know such as Rodgers and Hart’s A Ship Without a Sail, The One I Love by Isham Jones, Porter’s It’s Alright With Me, and two by Frank Loesser -- I Wish I Didn't Love You So and Spring Will Be a Little Late This Year. They were lovely discoveries.
Look, full disclosure. Brian Griffin is one of my personal heroes. When MacFarlane faux killed him in Family Guy, I was truly very sad. I could not believe it. A martini drinking dog. A bloody cartoon character. It’s because MacFarlane can paint a picture with a computer, his words, his voice and elicit deep emotion. A multi talented artist. And when Brian sings, any one can hear just how much MacFarlane is enjoying himself. He has a real passion for it. And his newest album demonstrates a real talent for it, too.
Playing time [60:09]