Review: Gaga and Bennett are Back with Glorious 'Love For Sale'

by JC Alvarez

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Friday October 1, 2021

During the pandemic, there have only been a handful of artists that have been able to keep themselves on the radar and relevant. Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga are among those few. Gaga released her sixth full-length album, "Chromatica," and followed that up last month with a remix package entitled "Dawn of Chromatica."

Tony Bennett, before signaling it was time he retired, released a duets piece with Diana Krall and, when it was safer to, went back into the studio with his "muse," Gaga, to work on the followup to the their hit 2014 collaboration, "Cheek to Cheek."

Their latest work focuses on the music of Cole Porter. On "Love For Sale" the pair prove how jazz melodies, along with Porter's lyrical word play, is perfectly suited to their talents. They previewed the effort with the release of the first single "I Get A Kick Out Of You," which showcased their playfully intoxicating chemistry, which was evident on the first album, but here both artists effortlessly compliment one another and never get lost in the orchestra's excitable rhythms. It was the perfect opener to get their fans on board.

Porter's lyrics and music always evoke a sense of drama, and emotes so beautifully that both Bennett and Gaga are totally willing to flourish their performances where appropriate. When the duo take a moment on "Love For Sale" for solo tracks, it's like a totally other-worldly immersive experience. Bennett's performance of "So In Love" reveals just how elegant the vocal giant remains. It is mighty inspiring to hear how vibrant Tony Bennett sounds on those tracks, his retirement announcement notwithstanding.

Lady Gaga is exudes confidence in her solo contributions. She makes the music wrap around her vocals so expertly that it begs to be seen live. Just listen to "Let's Do It," and you can revel in the sexy resonance of her powerful sound, which never drowns out the instrumentation. It's no wonder that as a performer, Lady Gaga has excelled at proving her versatility — she has learned a lot from working with Bennett, and will undoubtedly inherit the torch. Her Las Vegas residency has already premiered, and she will likely perform a jazz medley on tour this fall.

Of course, one wonders why a pop-dance vocalist of Lady Gaga's standing would dive into a genre is is largely alien to the majority of "Little Monsters" that worship at her altar. of Gaga, "Chromatica" was a respectable chart success and a well-crafted dance album in a time when the club scene had to mostly take a pause due to COVID. Gaga didn't miss a step, though, jumping into the studio and then taking the stage at Radio City Music Hall in New York with Tony Bennett to launch "Love For Sale." The album is a generously glorious without having to toot its own horn.

Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga are in their element on "Love For Sale," and invite the audience along for a perfectly crafted full-length album from one of the greatest songwriter of all time, by two of the most talented vocalists of their generations, surrounded by the most sumptuous orchestra ever recorded. This is a special moment in popular music, and we're lucky to be able to enjoy its glory — "Love For Sale" is worth the price, and is guaranteed to last.

The full setlist on the "Deluxe Version" includes:

1. It's De-Lovely
2. Night and Day
3. Love For Sale
4. Do I Love You
5. I've Got You Under My Skin
6. I Concentrate On You
7. I Get a Kick Out Of You
8. So In Love
9. Let's Do It
10. Dream Dancing
11. Just One Of Those Things
12. You're The Top


"Love For Sale" is available on Digital Download.

Native New Yorker JC Alvarez is a pop-culture enthusiast and the nightlife chronicler of the club scene and its celebrity denizens from coast-to-coast. He is the on-air host of the nationally syndicated radio show "Out Loud & Live!" and is also on the panel of the local-access talk show "Talking About".