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Seth MacFarlane possesses a warm velvety timbre on 'Once In A While' / THE STRAITS TIMES

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Multi-hyphenate actor-writer-director Seth MacFarlane releases a jazz album like clockwork every two years. Fans who have been following his discography know what to expect: a ballad-heavy programme delivered in his warm baritone, cosseted in lush big-band arrangements. There is no crime in sticking to a winning formula. He possesses a warm velvety timbre and one suspects he is a little too in love with how ballads are the best setting to show off that burnished tone.

When he gets it right, his singing is entirely charming. Opening track Half As Lovely (Twice As True) is all lovelorn sincerity, showing his firm grasp of vibrato, while Can't We Be Friends? offers some decent belting and lovely muted brass interludes. Here is hoping Mr MacFarlane tries his hand - or rather his voice - at more swing and torch songs for his next album.

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