Doug Ferony’s voice among the classic, big band warmth that is this album makes for a totally enjoyable listening session. The delightful groove of Ain’t That a Kick in the Head starts things up with a swing, the full band sound works beautifully and Ferony’s voice is just perfect in this kind of setting. Where Michael Bublé had quite famously re-delivered this genre to the masses in recent years, he did so with a certain softness – Doug Ferony offers it up with weight and a seductively raspy finish.
Volare follows the opener and takes you through the streets of the carnival, keeping things vibrant but chilling the mood a tad and offering a shoulder-swaying aura. It’s not Ferony alone that makes this project so colourful and uplifting – the instrumentation in every respect is flawlessly performed and presented. The unity between layers creates a smoothness that keeps things moving in a rhythmic and satisfying manner. Quando, Quando, Quando is no exception to the rule and showcases plenty of stops and starts between musicians. Meanwhile, Ferony’s voice meanders hypnotically among the soundscape.
You’re Nobody Till Somebody Loves You keeps the classics coming. Ferony takes ownership of this song in a wonderfully Frank Sinatra-like fashion. His voice stands out within the mix and light horns add a delicate outer layer – there’s a certain strength to the lyrical delivery thanks to Ferony’s natural connection to the moment. He doesn’t merely sing these songs, he immerses himself in them.
Come Prima breaks things down to the bare acoustics, reminding you of the power of that voice by itself. You’re in the heart of Italy now. That’s Amore afterwards is given a similar sense of character and kicks in with a joyful march and a comforting familiarity.
A personal favourite within this playlist is Everybody Loves Somebody. Ferony effortlessly leans back and forth between the low and the high notes, perfectly performing an iconic moment in a manner that feels authentic; as if this was the very first version, but remastered under a crisp and clean light. Mona Lisa follows with a similarly soothing recognisability. The acoustic ambiance – just the piano, a flicker of guitar, and the voice – makes for a gorgeously calming moment of quiet and reflection.
Arrangement is so important in keeping the very thing that is the album alive, and this one is superbly put together. Isle of Capri re-injects a hit of energy and optimism into the mix. Then the beach-side organic and simple shuffle of Grazie, Prego, Scusi appears for a much-welcomed moment of gentle delight.
Al Di La offers an instance of dramatic ballad, a notably vintage song that sees Ferony’s voice step back into the mix a little yet deliver in a mighty, powerful way nonetheless. Non Dimenticar follows and creates another organic moment of colourful calm and possibility. The song celebrates love and Ferony’s performance naturally emphasises the key ideas and emotions of the piece in a fitting way. The instrumentation is lovely, light and easy to escape within.
Just before the finish, Arrivederci Roma sees things feel like the end of a long day – smooth and accepting, settled and ready to sleep. Then the magical Innamorata brings the project to a close – a stunning song, presented in an enchanting manner by Doug Ferony’s unwavering vocals. Your mind sees you sail down the river with your loved one as this song plays out. A gorgeous way to end a tour of Italy and close down an impressive, easy to love album from the one and only Doug Ferony.