Picks and Pans Review: Me

updated 10/10/1983 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/10/1983 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Ray Stevens

Nobody can say Stevens is exactly shy about doing gimmicky songs. Remember Misty, Ahab the Arab or The Streak? He still can lapse into that kind of thing at the drop of a play on words, as he demonstrates on this album with a couple of original tunes, Love Will Beat Your Brains Out and Game Show Love ("I thought the price was right when you asked me what's my line/And I said, I've got a secret but I'll tell you:/It's the $64,000 question but will you be mine?' ") For those who like that kind of thing, Stevens is a paragon. He also delivers Dale Gonyea's sticky My Dad—"my dad can beat up your dad but he wouldn't even try"—without any apologies. When Stevens applies himself to basic country music, though, he becomes a slick Nashville performer. On this album there are a couple of nice examples of that skill: Yolanda and Piece of Paradise Called Tennessee (doesn't anyone ever write any country songs about, say, Mississippi or Arkansas?). Suzi Ragsdale adds sturdy backup vocals on Love Will Beat Your Brains Out and Yolanda, and even on the novelty tunes, the arrangements, by Stevens himself, keep things perking along.

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