"MacFarlane is the rare revivalist who knows that the Great American Songbook is more than 100 pages thick" - Reuters Grammy-nominated artist Seth MacFarlane's love affair with standards continues with his fourth album, In Full Swing, set for release on September 15 on Verve Label Group / Republic Records.
MacFarlane wraps his rich, expressive baritone around 16 toe-tapping tunes he handpicked, utilizing his near encyclopedic knowledge of songs from the era. A connoisseur of the period, MacFarlane delighted in finding obscure gems, many first featured in musicals, to sprinkle between the better-known tracks from the '20s, '30s, '40s and '50s. In Full Swing is irrepressibly upbeat about cupid's arrow finding its mark.
Blessed with an arranger's ear, MacFarlane revamped the originals with a deliberate approach, sometimes altering the tempo and structure during sessions with producer/arranger Joel McNeely. MacFarlane gives traditionally quiet ballad "But Beautiful" an uplifting bounce; he adds a sultry heft to the fluffy "A Kiss Or Two," and he turns "Almost Like Being In Love" into a bubbly ode. Two collaborations bolster the set: MacFarlane duets with longtime friend Norah Jones on the lovely "If I Had A Talking Picture of You" and he concludes the album with the bright and jaunty "My Buick, My Love and I," a duet with Elizabeth Gillies.
His first album of standards, Music is Better Than Words, debuted at #1 on the iTunes jazz chart and received a Grammy nomination for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album. His 2014 Christmas set, Holiday for Swing, also debuted at No. 1, and was followed by No One Ever Tells You, another iTunes chart topper. He's performed with composer John Williams at the Hollywood Bowl and this year, duetted with Barbra Streisand on "Pure Imagination" for ENCORE: Movie Partners Sing Broadway.
For MacFarlane, who this fall stars in The Orville, a sci-fi dramedy he created, music provides another path for his abundant talent to shine as he steps in front of the microphone to make familiar songs new again.