Stacey Kent: I Get Along Without You Very Well
I Get Along Without You Very Well
Stacey Kent (vocals)
The Boy Next Door (Candid 79797)
Stacey Kent (vocals),
Colin Oxley (guitar).
Composed by Hoagy Carmichael.
Recorded: Ardingly, England, February 18-22, 2003
Rating: 95/100 (learn more)
The full title of this song is "I Get Along Without You Very Well (Except Sometimes)". Ay, there's the rub. It is not a song of triumph about surviving a breakup, but a song of intense loneliness and false bravado. It is one of the few songs where Hoagy Carmichael wrote both the music and lyrics, and the lyrics reflect a feeling we've all had when we've realized that it's just not possible to always make it on your own.
In her duet recording with guitarist Colin Oxley, Stacey Kent brings out the loneliness of this song even more than its better-known interpreters, Frank Sinatra and Chet Baker. She starts by singing the title line alone, and Oxley comes in only when she sings the line Of course, I have which is when the narrator starts to realize the futility of that statement. Throughout the recording, she expresses great vulnerability and adds intensity only as the lyric dictates. She never deviates from the melody and her slight bits of expression--a slide here, or a sigh there--don't detract from the message of the lyric.
The recording comes from an album where Kent pays tribute to her male singing role models. But in this case, she may have made the definitive recording herself.
Reviewer: Thomas Cunniffe