Tag Archives: Tony Bennett

A Return to Timeless Classics: Love For Sale

Love for Sale is the second and final collaborative album by Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett, as Bennett decided to step away from music in 2021 owing to his struggle with Alzheimer’s. As a big fan of their first album, Cheek to Cheek, and in light of Bennett’s retirement and the album’s acclaim, I thought that it was only fitting to listen to it and assess it myself. After giving it a listen, I can say that I was far from disappointed.

Love for Sale is a tribute album to the great American composer Cole Porter, who’s jazz standards were defining pieces of the early and mid-20th century and have been covered by the likes of Frank Sinatra and Barbara Streisand. In Love for Sale, Bennett and Gaga bring a new flair to Porter’s work, altering their renditions with just the slightest lyrical and musical changes without losing each song’s genre-defining wit and charm. With bolstering swing in “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” smooth melodic runs in “I Concentrate On You,” and masterful instrumental solos in “Love for Sale,” Love for Sale truly has all the spunk and charisma necessary for a great jazz album.

The most enticing thing about Love for Sale is the chemistry between Gaga and Bennett. Whether it’s in their back and forth complimenting one another in “You’re the Top” or their cheeky remarks in “I Get a Kick Out of You,” the two seasoned singers masterfully play off each other and do justice to the savvy and endearing character of Porter’s songwriting style and Jazz Age music in general. Gaga and Bennett also hold their own in their solos on the album. Between their four solos Gaga’s rendition of “Do I Love You” stood out the most to me for its pensive and melancholy tone as well as her incredible vocal performance. Alongside “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” and “I Concentrate On You” made the biggest impression on me while listening to the album.

While individually, the songs on Love for Sale are all spectacular, I found that it is in its composite that the album matters the most. The renditions of Porter’s songs are done masterfully and with careful consideration for maintaining each song’s classic flair and personality, but it isn’t individual songs that stuck out to me so much as the album itself. Love for Sale is, above all things, an ode to the music of the past and a love letter to the genre that established Bennett’s career and influenced Gaga’s. While listening to the album, I felt transported to the time of jazz and swing and the suave and elegant atmosphere that defined the music of the 30s, 40s, and 50s, and in doing so, Love for Sale helped me push the bounds of my musical appreciation. In a modern musical environment defined by ever-changing genres and new technological advancements, Love for Sale carves out a space for a popular revitalization of jazz and allows us to still find appreciation for the classics that have set American music down the path that it is on today. I’m a bit of an old soul, especially when it comes to music, so I was taken by Love for Sale almost immediately. However, even if jazz or traditional pop isn’t generally your thing, I still strongly recommend that you challenge yourself and listen to the album. Doing so may open up a whole new musical world to fall in love with.