domingo, 26 de fevereiro de 2017

Dionne Is Where Love Is

Original released on LP Scepter SPS555
(US, December 1966)

"Here Where There Is Love" was a big album for Dionne Warwick, a very respectable adult contemporary creation featuring three Top 30 hits: "Trains and Boats and Planes," "I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself," and the classic theme from the film of the same name, "Alfie." The problem here is a double-edged sword, part of which is the packaging that Scepter Records wrapped this beautiful music in. The photo of two lovers on a beach under off-pink skies at sunset looks like something Ray Conniff might have been happy with. If Warwick were on a Columbia Records-sized label, she might not have had the string of hits she enjoyed with this smaller record company, but her albums, like those of Johnny Mathis, might have had significantly more catalog value just from the promotion and packaging side of things. Side one is completely composed by her ace producers, Burt Bacharach and Hal David, with Bacharach listed as the arranger and conductor on both sides. However, Bob Leeman and Obie Massingill get arranging credits on side two under certain titles, and the feel is distinctly different. The Bacharach/David material has elegance and that superb resonance that made this trio so powerful, and some of that is absent from the material not written by the core team. The work of Warwick/Bacharach and David was to adult contemporary pop what Phil Spector was to the Wall of Sound; listen to the absolute tension in "Alfie" - it's a soft rock version of Shirley Bassey's "Goldfinger," the minor chords exploding in a calmer setting. Massingill's arrangement of Lionel Bart's "As Long As He Needs Me" plays like an early-'60s Johnny Mathis record. It really doesn't sound like Burt Bacharach is involved in this track, and the same goes for Bob Leeman's arrangement of his own co-write "(I Never Knew) What You Were Up To." Obie Massingill also arranges "I Wish You Love" and the cover of Dylan's "Blowing in the Wind," and as pretty and nice as the titles are, there's no denying the album has gone in a different direction. What began as powerful adult contemporary album with stunning sounds evolves into a cabaret-style recording that was the basis for many other middle-of-the-road artists from before, artists who eventually found themselves singing songs Warwick made famous. In other words, "Here Where There Is Love" feels like it was pieced together to get some product out there to benefit from the singles chart action. But it all somehow works, a credit to Dionne Warwick, who is absolutely on no matter who the composer, no matter what song she's given. (Joe Viglione in AllMusic)

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