Unforgettable | EW.com

Music

UnforgettableNo expense was spared on Unforgettable: In paying tribute to her father, Nat ''King'' Cole, Natalie Cole recorded 22 of his songs,...UnforgettableR&BNo expense was spared on Unforgettable: In paying tribute to her father, Nat ''King'' Cole, Natalie Cole recorded 22 of his songs,...1991-06-21
B+

Unforgettable

Genre: R&B; Lead Performer: Natalie Cole; Producer (group): Elektra

No expense was spared on Unforgettable: In paying tribute to her father, Nat ”King” Cole, Natalie Cole recorded 22 of his songs, surrounding herself with a huge orchestra and top arrangers and musicians. But for all her technique and range, Natalie is not an especially distinctive singer. Nat, on the other hand, had one of the most alluring voices of the postwar era — no one could fail to recognize his throaty vibrato and silky baritone — and he put an indelible stamp on this music. For my money, only Natalie’s ”Orange Colored Sky” supersedes her father’s original, though when she sinks her chops into ”Mona Lisa” or revs up ”Thou Swell,” you wonder why she hasn’t been singing in this idiom all along. Still, the production is mostly too reverent. Some songs are taken so slowly Natalie seems to become mired in them. On balance it’s an impressive achievement — light-years beyond similar attempts to sing prerock standards by, among others, Linda Ronstadt and Carly Simon. B+