Tenth album from actor, singer and one-time Mr Julia Roberts

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Lyle Lovett – Smile

Since his role in Robert Altman’s The Player, Lyle Lovett has been cosy with Hollywood. Now Smile, his first album for three years, collects songs from recent movies. It is essentially Lovett as lounge singer; duetting with star guests (Randy Newman on his Toy Story song “You’ve Got A Friend In Me”) and crooning Sinatra standards (“Summer Wind”). Although Lovett is in good voice, particularly on the gospel song “Pass Me Not”, a covers album is a waste of such a literate songwriting talent. In fact, this probably serves best as a trailer for an album containing original material due in September.