Hayley sings is the debut release from the sister of Fox animation domination's resident genius Seth McFarlane. Of course Rachael MacFarlane does the voice over work for the animated character of Hayley Smith on American Dad which is yet another Emmy nominated Fox animation show currently in its seventh season.
Racael MacFarlane grew up in a musical household but this particular release is drawn from classics from the 60s and 70s. While MacFarlane's father was largely responsible for introducing his daughter to music from this incredible period of American culture, Rachael MacFarlane seized the opportunity as the chance to reconnect with her childhood again with the end result a delightfully eclectic release that is as charming as MacFarlane is talented. A unique twist to the release is the two of the albums fourteen songs will be included on the season opening episode of American Dad so if by some chance the release slips through your fingers on the first go round you will receive a gentle reminder!
While some classic jazz standards include a dynamite big band riff on "Makin' Whoopee!" and "Someone To Watch Over Me", the meat and potatoes of this releases includes Paul Simon's "Feelin Groovy" and a stellar version of "One Fine Day" written by Gerry Goffin and Carol King. Of course no collection such as this would be complete without a Beatles tune such as "All My Loving" closing out this delightful take on the hit television show. While some would incorrectly consider this release more of a novelty then that of a serious recording it is actually quite conceptual in nature. Haley Sings is the truly the voice of Haley channeling that 18-year-old angst most all of us have experienced in one form or another.
More recordings in the offing? MacFarlane confirms the likelihood for future recordings and will begin a tour in support of this release on September 28th at Catalina's Jazz Club in Los Angeles. A first call band that runs the table from big band to acoustic to that deceptively subtle old school swing that breathes new life into timeless classics. Two things take this release to the next level, arrangements and Rachael MacFarlane's pristine vocals. The Paul McCartney standard "All My Loving" is turned into a poignant ballad. "Time In A Bottle" turns into the jazz version of the sexy little black dress with an infectious samba nuance. "Feelin' Groovy" may highlight MacFarlane's talents better than any tune on the release. A nice piano jazz arrangement slowed down to a more traditional ballad and combined with great phrasing and lyrical direction.
Make no mistake, MacFarlane is not singing in character but instead selecting the songs that would be best suited for the character so the release is multi-dimensional in that in serves the two fold purpose of killer jazz vocalist and conceptual character interpretation of some of the finest songs written in the last fifty years.
Seth MacFarlane continues to make America laugh and now Rachael MacFarlane will make America sing! O.K. maybe Hayley will but you get the idea.
This release was a stroke of genius and perhaps the most entertaining vocal release of the year!
Tracks: Makin' Whoopee!; Feelin' Groovy; Sooner or Later; Someone To Watch Over Me; One Fine Day; Out Of This World; Loneliness; Never Never Land; Do You Want To Dance; I'm Glad There Is You; Up On The Roof; Since You've Asked; Time In A Bottle; All My Loving; Hidden Track: Secret Agent Man.