At this point in time, Hughie Mac doesn’t need any introduction among discriminating music enthusiasts; without dispute, his product speaks for itself, and in his latest single, the swanky “Let’s Get Away,” he puts his pipes to work for him in a dexterous display of swagger that is currently unparalleled in modern pop. Mac knows that in order to cover a song as legendary as “Let’s Get Away” is, you’ve got to adhere to the standards of the classic while imparting a uniquely expressive quality that is yours and yours alone, and as far as I’m concerned, young singers trying to make it in this game could stand to learn a lot from the example that he sets forth here.
Frank Sinatra is still the G.O.A.T. by all credible accounts, but Hughie Mac’s reimagining of this track is something to write home about on the strength of his sterling vocal contribution alone. The piano, the simple swing of the percussion, even the tony bassline in the background; none of it is as powerful as his delivery of the verses is, and try as they might, I’ve yet to hear as emotive a performance of this song among his contemporaries as I have in this cornerstone of Hughie Mac Sings Some Great Songs, Pt. 3.
The sway of the drum pattern here is distinctively different from the beats that framed Sinatra’s rendition of this standard, and I like that the master mix favors the fabric of the percussion a little more than it does the bass. This isn’t meant as a slight of the bottom-end boisterousness in “Let’s Get Away;” on the contrary, this particularly meticulous arrangement allows for every component within the song to attain a starring role in the grander scheme of things (which is something that is hard to pull off in any genre of music).
There’s literally zero excess in this single, and for as indulgent a melodicism that the piano employs, the very notion of bombastic camp is completely absent from “Let’s Get Away.” Hughie Mac is all about substance when it comes to his songcraft, and unlike his younger contemporaries, there’s never been an occasion where he’s put the grandiosity of a composition ahead of efficient arrangements and disciplined structure. His attention to detail is something to marvel at, and what’s even more interesting is that, at least in my opinion, it’s not even his most attractive quality as a performer.
It’s always a pleasure to hear this man sing, and I must say that “Let’s Get Away” is one of Hughie Mac’s most refined singles yet. Mac keeps turning out the toned pop fodder of yesteryear with a zeal that is anything but outdated, and I for one look forward to every new release that he has shared with us since first hitting the scene some three years ago with the rookie installment in his Sings Some Great Songs series of LPs. His is a variety of melodic crooning that you just don’t find all that often anymore, and it should be considered required listening for anyone with an ear for truly sensational singers.