Nothing says “holiday” quite like Engelbert Humperdinck, right? But wait! The Man I Want To Be is not the new holiday classic you didn’t know you needed this season. While it still might make a great soundtrack for the season and the ultimate stocking stuffer, The Man I Want To Be is actually a heartfelt ode to his wife of fifty-three years who is suffering from advanced Alzheimer’s. That said, what Engelbert release ISN’T heartfelt?
Fifty-three years of marriage and fifty years as a recording artist collectively celebrated within The Man… sees the iconic singer with that golden voice sounding as smooth, sexy, and poignant as ever as he tackles songs written by Jon Allen and Richard Marx, covers contemporary hits from Bruno Mars and Ed Sheeran, and puts a new spin on standards from Willie Nelson and Eddy Arnold.
“Absolute Beginner” warms the heart immediately as this quiet acoustic number builds to an instant Humperdinck classic. The title track just sounds like home. Inviting and comforting as Humperdinck croons “You are the light/You are the sun/ You are the one right thing when my whole world is wrong” during the chorus with these sweeping strings that just tug on your heart and press on those tear ducts ever so slightly.
Then Humperdinck gets all modern as Bruno Mars “Just The Way You Are” gets the Engelbert treatment building to a huge break before quietly drifting away led by that unmistakable voice.
“How Can You Live With Yourself” has an outstanding climax propelled by strings and grand choruses almost in the vein of some of the more broad Oasis and The Beatles tunes while “Just Like The First Time” carries that conclusion into a song that is akin to a gorgeous film score from the Golden Age of Hollywood.
The Ed Sheeran hit “Photograph” is almost acapella with very subtle acoustics underneath until the soaring solos on “Prodigal Son” coupled with Humperdinck’s bombastic pipes recaptures those big sounds. “I’m Glad I Danced With You”, on the other hand, is a touching track penned by daughter Louise Dorsey and features a duet with Humperdinck’s granddaughter Olivia.
Willie Nelson’s “Crazy” has been turned on its head and turned into a Big Band anthem just as “On Broadway” has been given a twist mixing Samba sounds with Big Band elements yet again to give a fresh face to this indisputable mammer jammer of a song.
The Man I Want To Be will be released on November 24th through Ok! Good Records. You can skip the Black Friday lines by pre-ordering your very own copy here and here.
We lucky was able to hear a lot of these songs at his concert during this year. Looking forward to this being a gold album. also waiting for my copy to arrive so I can share listening to it with my husband. Enge may have been singing for 50 years but proud to say he still has it. Thank you so much for your review as I am sure Enge enjoyed it as well. Happy Holidays.
Louise King says
Really looking forward to receiving my very first Englebert CD for Christmas. I would love to see a live performance, saving madly. Please come to Brisbane, Australia before we’re both too ancient❣️ I can’t say OLD because OLD is always 10 years older than me/us.
Dorothy Whalen says
The more you listen to any of Engelberts’ albums, the more you keep saying, oh this song is great, or this one is so sad, but one never stops commenting, because they all are just perfect, and Engelbert knows just how to sing them, so that those feelings are recognized. ‘The Man i Want To Be’ – is such an interesting title, that right away, one wants to hear these songs, and that voice, well that is another story! Just beautiful, and I am so happy I pre-ordered a copy!
Faith Heidel says
I am so excited, just received my new “The Man I Want to Be” CD by Engelbert Humperdinck. Engelbert is such a wonderful entertainer, singer and gentleman. The songs on this CD are very emotional, especially since we now know that his beautiful wife Patricia is fighting a battle of Alzheimer’s disease. God bless them and their family and I send love and prayers that a cure will help her.