Album: Forever Blue.
You can argue that Chris Isaak has only one move: the big, sad torch song with a beat. But like his forebearer Roy Orbison or contemporary The Mavericks, you can’t argue with his execution, which is absolutely top-notch.
And for me, his execution peaked with the utterly stellar Forever Blue album, a fully-realized record filled with great vocals, swampy guitar licks and subtly sophisticated arrangements.
For example, “Somebody’s Crying,” which starts off slow on the verses, but saunters into a double-time on the chorus of:
So pleeeeesssseese return the love you gave to me
Oh pleeeeeeeeeesssseese let me know it can’t be me.
Not only does the tempo-shift work, but then Isaak shifts into a panty-wetting falsetto on the “pleeeeeeeease” that takes his already gorgeous tenor voice into a whole new level of intensity. I know that “Wicked Game” is a great and well-loved song, but it never quite did it for me the same way as “Somebody’s Crying.”
“Somebody’s Crying” performed live in 2006