Album Review: Bradley Walsh – When You’re Smiling

“I’m living in a kind of daydream”

No-one could accuse Bradley Walsh of resting on his laurels. Between hosting The Chase, appearing in his regular Peter Pan panto and preparing to become one of the 13th Doctor’s new companion, it’s a wonder he’s managed to find time to record a new album. But such was the success of his first that you could guarantee this was a trick not to be missed and so When You’re Smiling is now selling well in the few places that still actually sell CDs.

And it is a perfectly serviceable album that is as enjoyable to listen to as these things get. Walsh has a richly strong voice but more importantly, a keen sense of what is suited to it. So we get an album full of standards from the likes of Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole and Louis Armstrong, plus a smattering of hits from musicals such as Cabaret, The King and I, and Guys And Dolls.

Impressively, there’s no real clunkers here. The only thing that made me wince was the spoken credits, oh, and the misapprehension that so many of these crooners labour under, that anyone wants to hear them say ‘hey’ or ‘take it away lads’ or have any kind of embellishment beyond the lyrics. But from a chirpy ‘Get Happy’ with his band of Bradettes to an effectively impassioned ‘Maybe This Time’, you can’t fault him for doing what he’s good at and giving more to an audience hungry for it.

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