No, I didn't purchase Manilow's best-selling album, but I have been listening to it at work, and I've heard, if I may be so bold as to suggest such a thing, enough.
First, please allow me to offer a comparison in the form of one Jim Nabors.
Didja ever listen closely to the way Nabors sings? Oh, not the way he hits his pitches and holds notes, but rather the way he forms words when he sings? I mean, listen real close when you get a chance. None of you? Well, great. Let's approach this from another angle.
Didja ever listen to some guy with a broad Bronx accent say the word "Way," or even "Why"?
If one were to record the speaking of said word and then play it back really, really slowly, the word word break down something like this:
"oooooooWWWWWWWaaaaiiiiiiii." It would sound the same for either word, and you know it. When you really start listening to the "oooooooWWWWWWW" closely enough, you discover that this way of speaking isn't limited to word that begin with "W," but, rather, the mouth forms that unfortunate consonant+vowel combination FOR EVERY WORD! It's as if the speaker's mouth is permanently puckered.
THAT's the accent I'm talking about, and Jim Nabors sings like that on almost track I've ever heard. It's just the weirdest darn thing, don't ya think?
Anyway, as I was listening to Barry Manilow, I thought, "You now, Manilow has more than a touch of Jim Nabors in his voice."
That being said, however, I must say that in contrast to the horrific histrionics that makes such a mockery of music on every track of an Il Divo record, Manilow sounds by-gosh excellent.
Taken in its own, it ain't a bad record, save that I'm highly sensitive to the way Manilow sometimes forms his words when he sings, but that's a miniscule complaint, and I'm probably one of only a few cranky jerks who'd notice such a thing.
Overall, Manilow's record is harmless. Two stars, or whatever.
This is your Cranky Reviewer, signing off.