George Perris – No Armor
Not exactly Americana but George Perris does have a satiny clear vocal – not winey, or high pitched but attractive for the types of songs he performs. He’s not really in that full-throated pantheon as Elvis, Tom Jones, Engelbert Humperdinck, or dare I say, Frank Sinatra. But…
That’s the basic terrain. George fits comfortably on the shelf beside the Josh Groban CDs (& I think George Perris is better than Groban who has a deep fine voice – but no soul). Perris has soul – he shines on the ABBA song “I Have a Dream,” where his voice is smooth on the notes, steady with intonation, phrasing & timbre. Very European vocal style. No over-emoting or showboating. Perris knows his limitations & maintains his power within an attractive boundary where he dominates with prestige.
The strings are beautifully reminiscent of the melodic stylings of classic Greek pop tunes such as “Never On Sunday,” (from the film of the same name).
As a singer, Perris is closest to Michael Bublé & Harry Connick Jr., & Perris will more than impress that audience. He doesn’t mine the same vein of music as Bublé & Connick. His appeal will begin with their audiences but will spread beyond mere mainstream listeners (as it probably has).
For a young man, this is a wonderful place to be. He does have what many don’t possess & can’t be taught – he has class.
While not being the most successful Greek singer (yet) – that would fall perhaps to the late Demis Roussos (Egyptian-born to a Greek family) who was popular for decades worldwide (sold over 60-million records) & Nana Mouskouri – who also didn’t have major sales in America but sold 350 million albums. She was one of the most successful artists of all time – America knows little about her.
No Armor (Drops March 30–Independent) is Perris’ 3rd full-length English LP graced with 14 songs. Like Elvis & Sinatra, George interprets songs. Among artists he visits: Joni Mitchell (“Both Sides Now”), Billie Eilish, & Nana herself. Singers who understand singing will tell you it’s not easy to interpret someone else’s songs. Presley & Sinatra were considered stylists – they covered a song & applied their distinctive signature to it. Others don’t have this magic, but George already has this expertise.
This is George’s first recorded in Greece with composer/arranger/pianist Alexander Livitsanos & top-tier Greek musicians. There is a Greek-textured ambiance to each pop song that makes each unique. Yet, none ever sound too foreign for an American ear. Perris is most effective with Leonard Bernstein-Stephen Sondheim’s West Side Story classic “Somewhere.” The sincerity is throughout the performance & the musicality — intensely beautiful.
It transcends popular music because that song is so iconic. Perris is up to the challenge (he has performed at Lincoln Center). He sustains his notes wonderfully. Photo courtesy: Parris’ website & the CD is available @ https://georgeperris.com/