George Michael’s new album Symphonica is his first in 10 years since the critically-acclaimed Patience. For his return to the charts, George has done something a little different with Symphonica which was recorded during the tour of the same name in 2011 and 2012. Working with producer Phil Ramone, George has recorded a mixture of his classic hits along with carefully selected cover versions backed by an orchestra. Many of the tracks on the album were recorded live allowing fans to hear George’s voice free from any studio manipulation of gimmicks.
Symphonica opens with Through, a track originally featured on his 2004 album Patience, and it perfectly sets the tone for the rest of the record. George’s soulful vocals captivate your attention and you can’t help but be drawn in by their magic. Over the course of the record George puts a new spin on some of his classics and reinterprets songs recorded by other artists. The album’s lead single Let Her Down Easy, originally recorded by Terence Trent D’arby, is transformed into a beautiful soulful piano-led track that stands on its own away from the original version.
Across the album George revisits hits from his catalogue including Praying For Time, One More Try and John and Elvis Are Dead. Backed by an orchestra these songs sound as incredible as they always have with George’s voice soaring and driving through the melodies.
Of the covers on the album George’s version of Elton John’s Idol is a standout moment, as is his foray into jazzier sounds on standard My Baby Just Cares For Me. We really love the version of Brother, Can You Spare A Dime which has become one of George’s most popular cover versions from his career. It’s without a doubt one of the best vocals on the record and this version of the song is one that requires repeat listens.
Symphonica is a special album that comes from George Michael’s heart. It’s a special gift for fans of the iconic singer and captures the magic of his voice perfectly. Even after all of these years George is in a league of his own and he’s in his element in the live arena. Symphonica is a perfect momento for those who saw the tour of the same name and a timely reminder that away from his often dramatic personal life, George is still one of the finest male vocalists in the industry.