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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Review: Loretta McNair - Intimate Portrait

Loretta McNair - Intimate Portrait
2008, Loretta McNair

Call her Rosemary Clooney for the 21st century. Los Angeles-based Loretta McNair writes and performs everything from standards style to blues to jazz to country to classic singer/songwriter material. Her latest album, Intimate Portrait is part Clooney, part Billie Holliday and part Doris Day. McNair sings a mellow torch style tempered by a contemporary spirit.

The music on Intimate Portrait is first class, from the songwriting to the execution; enthusiasts of American Standards will love the list of potential new standards on Intimate Portrait. McNair thrills on Someone Who'll Stay and That's What I'm Here For. Don't be surprised if That's What I'm Here For becomes a heavily covered song in the next generation or so. Talk, Talk, Talk is also a treat. McNair is a throwback; she would have fit in perfectly in the 1940's and early 1950's. Today, of course, the demand for the music of that era is diminished in the pop realm but still has a significant draw for the boomers and WWII generations, as well as significant pockets of fan across different regions and demographics. There's little weakness shown on Intimate Portrait, McNair delivers these songs in spot on fashion. And while she sounds a bit like Clooney or Holliday, don't expect the same level of dynamics. McNair is good, but not quite of that legendary ilk. Nevertheless, she's definitely worth spending some time listening to. Intimate Portrait is a solid outing.

Rating: 3.5 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about Loretta McNair at or You can purchase a copy of Intimate Portrait at

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