“Danke Schoen” by Wayne Newton

Of all the Jazz-Pop vocalists labelled ‘Lounge Singers’, Wayne Newton is the only one where I can actually understand why people find him so irritating. Indeed, Newton seems to embody all the negative stereotypes about ‘lounge music’ that seem so ingrained in people’s consciousness, but that actually apply to so few of the singers generally grouped under that label. And I’m sorry, but Wayne Newton’s falsetto is one of the most annoying voices in all of popular music…it’s like the jazz equivalent of Peter Cetera’s voice, only somehow even more irritating. This song in particular brings out Newton’s unpleasant qualities, with a sappily sentimental lyric set to a tune that clearly doesn’t believe a word of it. The modern song it most reminds me of is Thomas Rhett’s “Crash and Burn”, in that the bland and callow melody just makes the sentiments of the lyrics seem blatantly insincere. So, you know all the stuff I wrote about ‘Lounge Music’ on my editorial on the subject…well, Wayne Newton is the exception to all that, and probably has a lot to do with how the negative associations I discussed there got started to begin with.

Verdict: Bad.

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