sábado, 18 de julio de 2009
Barbara Lewis: The Many Grooves of Barbara Lewis (1969) ... plus
Although this late-'60s album isn't nearly as well known as Barbara Lewis’ poppier mid-'60s hits, it is excellent sweet soul that avoids slickness. Still working with producer Ollie McLaughlin and after signing with Enterprise, a division of Stax Records, Lewis recorded this set of strong soul-pop in Chicago. The slightly updated, gutsier tone of the arrangements did nothing to obscure her characteristically smooth and assured delivery. Opening with a hit sounding ‘Baby, That's a No No’, Barbara clearly is at her soulful best and continues with a haunting and beautifully sung ‘Windmills of Your Mind,’ which was a hit the same year by Dusty Springfield. ‘Slip Away’ is a really fine version of this familiar soft-rocker and ‘How Can I Tell You’ is heartfelt and ever so smooth, while ‘Break Away’ is a rhythm cooker. Smokey Robinson would have been a great choice of composer and producer for Barbara as she is perfect on Smokey's ‘Oh, Be My Love’ and reminds of his great work with Mary Wells. A beautiful passionate vocal make ‘Just the Way You Are Today’ another winner and the lilting ‘Anyway’ has a nice soft flow to it. Quite urgency make for an interesting take on ‘But You Know I Love You’ and ‘You Made Me a Woman’ sounds like it could have been a ‘60s soul hit as does the astrological ‘The Stars’. Barbara's ‘60s chart hits had a certain feel to them and ‘Do I Deserve It Baby’ fits into this mold, but somehow, although a fine version, ‘Ask the Lonely’ doesn't, and it is surprising that it was released as a single. So powerful was the Four Tops passionate version that nobody could have topped it or even come close. ‘Why Did It Take You So Long’ and ‘That's the Way I Like It’ are fine bonus tracks that flow well into the material on the original release. Overall, a great release from this largely forgotten soulful diva who remains one of the finest from the ‘60s. http://www.amazon.com/, http://www.allmusic.com/.
Barbara Lewis performs a re-recording of 'The Stars', one of the songs included here: