96kHz/24-bit FLAC, Columbia/Interscope 0253799884 (supplied by www.highresaudio.com)
When Tony Bennett – famously reinvented since becoming managed by one of his sons in the 1980s – released Duets II in 2011 it became his first ever album to debut at No1 on America’s Billboard charts. With Cheek To Cheek the octogenarian crooner has scored another No1. And make that strike three for Lady Gaga. This might appear an incongruous pairing. You could even consider it a cynical commercial stunt: Bennett isn’t the first ‘classic’ artist to team up with a happening hipster to attract the attention of a younger audience, nor will Lady Gaga be the last popster to rely on a grandfatherly figure to gain musical kudos. As ever, Bennett is a master of vocal understatement, while his 28-year-old Manhattan-born singing partner in this collection of standards from the Great American Songbook is given freedom to demonstrate her spectacular voice. JB
Sound Quality: 60%
Hi-Fi News Lab Report
While this is a 96kHz rendering, because the content was subject to an early low-pass filter (at about 26kHz), its practical bandwidth is not appreciably wider than a 48kHz recording. The dynamic range is above average, however. PM
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