Picks and Pans Review: Soul Talk with ... Michael Mcdonald

updated 03/10/2008 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 03/10/2008 AT 01:00 AM EDT

The former Doobie Brother, 56, discusses the remakes on his new album, Soul Speak.

"(YOUR LOVE KEEPS LIFTING ME) HIGHER AND HIGHER" My daughter loved that song. It was on one of her Jackie Wilson mixtapes. She said to me, "You should do that song," so I did.

"HALLELUJAH" Leonard Cohen has a way, like Ryan Adams, Neil Young and writers I really admire, of falling off the edge with words. He says so much about feelings the rest of us can't express.

"WALK ON BY" It represented a wonderful period of my life growing up when I got sucked into the idea of being a musician and making it my life's work.

"I KNEW YOU WERE WAITING (FOR ME)" I love this song. When I heard it [in the '80s], I thought, "George Michael is probably over the moon singing with Aretha Franklin." But duets are tricky these days—gone are the days you just call up a friend. So it's just me singing.

"FOR ONCE IN MY LIFE" Stevie Wonder actually played harmonica on it. When you do a Stevie song with a harmonica solo, there's really no one else in the world that you can get.

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