Symphonica

George Michael crooning "Wild Is the Wind"? With a full orchestra? Now there's a concept. For his first album in 10 years, produced by the late Phil Ramone, the man who invented stubble teams up with an orchestra full of sexy people for a swank live set of classic makeout ballads. Some are vintage – the jazz standard "My Baby Just Cares for Me," "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" – and some come from his own songbook. Mr. Explore Monogamy lounges it up on "One More Try" and "Praying for Time"; best of all is when he torches up the Wham!-era oldie "A Different Corner," giving it a touch of autumnal wisdom.

From The Archives Issue 1205: March 27, 2014