Les Paul & Friends – American Made World Played (2005)
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Les Paul & Friends: American Made World Played

The AMG compares this album to Sinatra’s Duets, and that’s fair. All the ingredients are basically the same: Old legend + big name guest stars = All Star Event Album. Of course, Les Paul doesn’t carry the same kind of cultural weight that Sinatra did, which is unfortunate — American Made is a more enjoyable listen than either of the Duets albums. It isn’t a great album; affairs this star-studded are typically too all over the place to be anything more than pleasant, and this is no exception. It’ll be of great interest to guitar buffs, and the Sting/Joss Stone duet will attract the Gap mommy crowd, but beyond that, this is basically just a well-made victory lap for one of American music’s great heroes. The lowlights actually stand out more than the good-to-really-good stuff: For instance, Billy Gibbons’ painful croaking on “Bad Case of Lovin’ You” (download), or Johnny Rzeznik Goo Gooing all over “All I Want is You” (download).

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Jeff Giles

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