Award-winning crooner Mark Shelton returns with entrancing new album of jazz standards
The title of Mark Shelton's new album, Among the Stars, reveals the origin of his entrancing voice. There is an otherworldly beauty to Shelton's singing that is undeniable; like his heroes Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley, Shelton is blessed with an evocative baritone that is poetic in how it conveys a melody. Shelton captures the timeless sentiments of these jazz standards and invigorates them with deep passion; there is no artificial sweeteners here just pure soul.
The opening cut, "My Funny Valentine," finds Shelton wasting no time in unveiling the strengths of his vocal work. Easing into the tune with a silky smooth touch, Shelton then allows his voice to soar; it's an exhilarating moment, one that illustrates the wind-swept romanticism of the song. The orchestral sweep of "Sea of Love" is gorgeously echoed by the swaying rhythms of Shelton's singing. And "Moon River" is awash with such profound longing that tears are effortlessly jerked.
Nearly all of the tracks on Among the Stars have been covered numerous times by various artists; however, only a handful of them possess the emotional weight that Shelton imbues them with. For example, even the swinging "New York, New York" is given a transcendent roar. There is a huge difference between simply mastering this material which, given enough practice and talent, countless people can do and have done, and actually feeling it. Shelton makes these songs live and breathe.
Named Best International Christian Male Artist in 2007 by Toronto Exclusive Magazine, Shelton may not be a household name yet but remarkable efforts such as Among the Stars will help solidify his name in the global music community. Shelton is further proof that there are undiscovered gems not seen by the general public, waiting to take their deserved turn Among the Stars.
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