Seth MacFarlane — the creative force behind “Family Guy” — has new album out (9/27). Its titled Music Is Better Than Words — a big band Jazz record, arranged, conducted, and produced by film and television composer Joel McNeely.
MacFarlane’s phrasing may be classic Frank Sinatra, but he cannot help but bring in lots of classic Broadway into his style. In addition to channeling Sinatra and the crooners of the ’30s and ’40s, MacFarlane’s first outing is notable for his choice of material.
Chris-willman of TheWrap explains it thusly:
“MacFarlane scores big points, though, for his choice of neglected vintage material. A handful of tunes here will be familiar to the average movie-musicals buff — namely, the lesser remembered numbers lifted from the not-so-obscure scores of “Gigi,” “The Sound of Music,” and “The Music Man,” plus the non-movie vocal version of “Laura.”
But even the musical theater buffs among us may have to do some Googling to find out or remember where the sublime “Nine O’Clock” comes from (answer: the little-remembered 1959 Broadway musical “Take Me Along”). MacFarlane is the rare revivalist who knows that the Great American Songbook is more than 100 pages thick, and it’s his willingness to look deeper into the catalog that gives “Music is Better Than Words” its kick.”
We always appreciated Family Guy’s occasional musical numbers, but this 2009 Royal Albert Hall should have clued us into MacFarlane as a wannabe lounge lizard.
Seth MacFarlane – “Singin’ in the Rain”