Brian Setzer Orchestra Vavoom!

Setzer has lost the middle-age man chubbies and melodrama in his sensational new release Vavoom! He is style, in the way that he's reconstructed the swing era, much like the success of the '80s "Stray Cat Strut" rockabilly sound, and Setzer keeps his sound fresh with each new release. Vavoom! opens with female back-ups, a first for Setzer, and sets a prefect tone for the crazed lounge-hound. He covers six classics and even added lyrics to "In the Mood." The vocals on "Mack the Knife" are soothing, not a word I've ever associated with Setzer's singing; followed by an instrumental, "Caravan," with Setzer's magical, God-given-Gretsch fingers. Vavoom! also includes eight originals, and original they are. The resurrection of "big band" may have been tried by others, but no one but Setzer has brought back an entire 17-piece orchestra fronted by a rockabilly/roots guitar slinger. The must hear clincher is "Americano," an American version of the Italian original used in the movie The Talented Mr. Ripley. Definitely the best of Setzer to date. You can feel the party they must have had recording it. (Universal)