By David Chiu
These days pop stars who are covering the standards is about as common as the latest gossip on Brangelina. But in the hands of the great Smokey Robinson (once touted by Bob Dylan as America’s greatest living poet), it all becomes refreshingly new again. Robinson’s trademark sensuous croon breathes new life to “You Go to My Head,” “Fly Me to the Moon,” “Night and Day,” and “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” (one of the few whose arrangement recalls a bit of the old Miracles/Motown sound)—it’s like hearing a young man discovering love for the first time. His interpretation of “Time After Time” is a fusion of the Sammy Cahn/Jules Styne composition and the Cyndi Lauper song, while the almost-doo wop feel of “”I Can’t Give You Anything But Love” swings. The musical arrangements are not overbearing and bathed in gloss, which allows Robinson’s voice to be front and center. He has always been known as a great balladeer but not quite like this, which seems so perfectly suited for him. Timeless Love deserves to be in the pantheon of the all-time great romance records.