Tis the season for standard duets. Barry Manilow’s got an album full of standard duets with dead people, Barbra Streisand has a “hit” album full of her own standard duets, and Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett have Cheek to Cheek, a Grammy-nominated album of, yes, standard duets.
Last night, Gaga and Bennett appeared on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon to perform a set of standards, “Cheek to Cheek” and “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing),” which sound exactly as you would expect them to. Gaga was wearing a gown (and eye makeup) that was really shiny, and Tony Bennett was Tony Bennett. It was all very swing-y, very classy, very much in the spirit of December.
Gaga is good at this kind of stuff, no matter what you might think of her. What if she just drops the whole arthouse schtick and goes straight as a standards chanteuse? It’s likely, after the relative failure of Artpop, that she’s actually considering it.