White Ladies, Red Lips

Music this good never goes out of style.

George Michael has put together a whole album of jazz vocal music - the style that predominated in America and Europe in the post-World War I years.

His voice is smooth and he croons to the standard accompaniments of bass, guitar, drums, percussion, piano, harp, violins, flutes, clarinets, trombones, trumpet, oboe, celli, bassoon and english horn - all part of the orchestra engaged for the recording.

The music is soft, melodious, relaxing and it transports us back to the era that it originally hails from. While listening to it, one can imagine ladies in velvet dresses wearing bright red lipstick hanging onto the arms of officers in uniform drinking and smoking at a restaurant in any city in America.

"Roxanne", a song about a prostitute and "Miss Sarajevo" are tender tracks that capture the essence of femininity, as much through their music as their lyrics. "Secret Love", "My Baby Just Cares For Me", "I Remember You" and "Wild Is The Wind" are beautiful love songs.

The full glory of the orchestra is felt in the album's hidden track, an instrumental titled "It's Alright With Me".

To quote the leaf of the album itself: "The song is the survivor. The melody is ageless and the lyric is of its time."

Music lovers have got to get themselves some of this.

This article was first published on 13 Sep 2000.