Despite joining forces with the Grim Reaper a dozen years ago, Dean Martin has a new album out. Taking a page from the Frank Sinatra “Duets” cash cow, the record finds the Rat Pack vice president sharing songs with very-much-alive artists of later generations.
Any suspicions that the merger might be jarring are dispelled by the opening notes of track one, in which Martin sings “Who’s Got the Action?” to the accompaniment of swing revivalists Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. The styles meld so well, it’s difficult to tell whether the cut was recorded yesterday or yesteryear.
Martina McBride’s voice may lack the sex appeal of Ann-Margret, but she heats up well alongside Dino for the holiday chestnut “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” Actor Kevin Spacey holds his own for two tracks, right down to the seemingly drunken studio banter.
Joss Stone, Shelby Lynne and Robbie Williams are among the other guests, but you’re most likely to be floored by the lone solo cut: an a capella version of Brahms’ “Lullaby,” reminding that headlines aside, Martin had talent in spades.