Picks and Pans Review: Come See About Me
There could have been a subtitle on this album: Happy Birthday, Sweet 45. Sedaka has never really had much success outside the teenybopper realm, and in this 10-tune set he goes back to the height of his popularity, the late '50s and early '60s, to recycle some hits of that day. Most of them have not held up well; there's a certain childishness to the 1960 Everly Brothers hit Cathy's Clown and the 1963 Cascades smash Rhythm of the Rain. There's not much in the way of new interpretation to be done with them. But Sedaka turns to advantage the Crew-Cuts' and Penguins' hit from 1955, Earth Angel, by simplifying and understating it (although by comparision with the Penguins' version just about anything would be understated). And the Lloyd Price-Harold Logan tune Stagger Lee is a bona fide R&B classic, even if it demands a kind of roughshod vocal that isn't Sedaka's strong point. He also benefits from the contributions of some sit-in artists. Ex-Supreme Mary Wilson joins him on her old group's Come See About Me; Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson combine on their Your Precious Love, a 1967 hit for Marvin Gaye, and Tammi Terrell and Sedaka's daughter, Dara, appear on a couple of tracks. The upshot is that anyone as old as 35 or so can find nostalgic enjoyment in this record, but it's not going to make any of the younger generation feel they missed out on a whole lot by not being born sooner. (MCA/Curb)
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