Picks and Pans Review: A Lovely Way to Spend An Evening
Old smoothie that he is, Engie would seem to be a likely bet to cash in on the standards revival. Humperdinck, however, sounds totally unengaged with the music. Part of the problem may be that Alan (Weaver) Copeland's bright, liquid orchestral arrangements were recorded in England, by members of the United Kingdom Symphony Orchestra, while Humperdinck's vocals were recorded in Hollywood. A lot of singers have successfully overcome that sort of barrier to intimacy, but Humperdinck's voice just seems to skim over the words and music. He usually (though not always) hits the notes and pronounces the words clearly, but there's a mechanical feel to his style. The only inflections are flagrant ones—Hey, I'm really showing feeling here!—such as whispering the last couple of lines of Red Sails in the Sunset. It's nice to hear such neglected songs as the Tommy Dorsey theme, Getting Sentimental Over You, and the Harald Adamson-Jimmy McHugh fireside favorite, A Lovely Way To Spend an Evening. Yet it's deflating to hear them sung by someone whose style evokes about as much passion as an electric shoe polisher. (Silver Eagle Records, Palm Springs, Calif. 92262)
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