Never in a million years did I ever think I'd buy a David Hasselhoff CD. I mean Hasselhoff? Really? I've never been a fan of any of his music or his TV shows. I only ever took notice of him when he became a replacement in the lead role of Jekyll & Hyde - the Musical on Broadway back in 2000. This show is a favorite of mine, but my impression of Hasselhoff after viewing a now available DVD of the show was that the Hoff isn't a great stage actor nor a great singer. Dreadful in parts of the iconic musical but not half bad in other parts.
"This Time Around" is a collection of 15 songs - 11 of which were composed by Frank Wildhorn, the man who penned the score to Jekyll & Hyde. Being a fan of Wildhorn's, I couldn't resist going ahead and buying this CD. Heck, why not? I had a gift certificate I hadn't used in a while. First off, the Wildhorn numbers are excellent. Of those, 7 of the song selections are ones I'd heard by other artists. But, here they are done with arrangements I hadn't heard before. Really terrific! The other 4 Wildhorn tunes are new to me. Tracks 11 & 12 ("There is Love" and "I Was Born to Love You") are phenomenally good. I can listen to those over and over again. All 15 tracks are at least pretty good. No duds.
While I got what I was expecting from Wildhorn, Hasselhoff really exceeded my expectations. From the moment he starts singing on the first track, I was thinking "wow, he's pretty good here". The studio must really suit him. He sounds totally relaxed and comfortable, never sounds rushed or like he's pushing too hard. One thing I noticed is that he seems to have minimized the vibrato in his voice, which is a good thing if you've ever heard it rumble before. At least on this CD, I like his voice. His deep base/baritone has a quality to it that I find pleasing. His enunciation and phrasing could use some work here and there, but overall his interpretation of the lyrics is great.
Buy this CD. It's a terrific listening experience. You'll be surprised. I would have given this a 5-star rating if the CD jacket or liner notes gave any credit to the other performers on the CD. There's at least one female who joins Hasselhoff on various numbers and perhaps a kid or two who join in on the last track. If I had to guess, the predominate female voice heard is that of Brandi Burkhardt. She sounds fantastic. Can't imagine why no credit is given.