From Stephen Holden, my favorite New York Times critic:
A quintessential Tony Bennett moment comes at the end of “It’s a Wonderful World,” the tender duet he recorded with K. D. Lang for their 2002 Louis Armstrong tribute album, “A Wonderful World.” After they swap greeting-card doggerel celebrating “trees of green,” “skies of blue” and “clouds of white,” Mr. Bennett remarks with a boyish enthusiasm, “Don’t you think Satchmo was right?”
Ms. Lang responds by crooning a final, dreamy “what a wonderful world,” whereupon her partner, speaking in the quiet, choked-up voice of a man visiting the grave of a beloved father figure, declares, “You were right, Pops.”
This gentle burst of affirmation melts your heart and reminds you that sincerity, a mode of expression that has been twisted, trampled, co-opted and corrupted in countless ways by the false intimacy of television, still exists in American popular culture. It can even salvage “trees of green,” “skies of blue” and “clouds of white” from the junk heap of pop inanity….
Read the whole thing here.
It reminded me, by the way, of a paragraph I read earlier today in Elmore Leonard’s Cat Chaser:
How many people did she know who spoke or looked at anything with genuine feeling? Without being cynical, on stage, trying to entertain. Without puffing up or putting down. She wanted to know what he felt and, if possible, share the feeling.
That’s the way I’d like my writing to make people feel.