Picks and Pans Review: What the World Needs Now...
Someone had better rescue Dionne Warwick from the Psychic Friends Network and tell her that people are mauling the Burt Bacharach songs that defined her career. Well, not all of them are being mauled. This collection of Bacharach tunes performed by mostly alternative-rock-type modern musicians does include a few felicitous turns such as Splitsville's "I'll Never Fall in Love Again" and "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head," which is at least no sillier in the voices of the Japanese trio Shonen Knife than it was as rendered by B.J. Thomas. The Twin Cities band the Vandalias' "Wishin' and Hopin' " is appropriately chipper and lively. But Connecticut's Hannah Cranna flounders through "(They Long to Be) Close to You," the Absolute Zeros struggle with "(There's) Always Something There to Remind Me," and Mitchell Rasor encounters pitch difficulties on "I Say a Little Prayer."
The problem may be that, in spite of the success of the reprise of "I Say a Little Prayer" in My Best Friend's Wedding, Bacharach is hardly Cole Porter. The tunes written by him and partner Hal David are not necessarily music for the ages, so what played nicely in 1967 can sound awfully corny in 1998. (Big Deal)