Tuesday, February 11, 2014


Four full albums, plus bonus tracks too! First up is I'll Never Fall In Love Again – one of Dionne Warcwick's last few albums for the Scepter label,with a sense of maturity, poise, and grace that tops even Dionne's earliest classics for the label. She's still working heavily here with Burt Bacharach – who produced and arranged most of the songs – with some help from Hal David and Larry Wilcox. And in some way, it's almost like Bacharach's reinvigorated here – moving into a deeper mode that's quite similar to some of the more complicated tunes on his A&M recordings from the same period – almost unafraid of charting or not, and working instead in a completely adult mode that's beautifully constructed through webs of sound and sadness, loss and longing. Titles include "I'll Never Fall In Love Again", "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head", "My Way", "Knowing When To Leave", "Let Me Go To Him", and "Didn't We". 

Very Dionne is Dionne Warwick's last Bacharach album for Scepter Records – and really wonderful stuff! Burt's still very much at the helm on Very Dionne – working with Warwick in an ever-maturing mode that's expanded a bit with some help on arrangements from Marty Paich and Larry Wilcox. The mood is adult, but still has some of the dreamier touches of early pop days – and the Bacharach compositions are among some of the best of the bunch, and include "Walk The Way You Talk", "Check Out Time", "The Green Grass Starts To Grow", and "They Don't Give Medals To Yesterday's Heroes". 

Dionne is a great post-Scepter album by Dionne Warwick – one that still has her working with Burt Bacharach, but at a level that's somehow more mature, more adult than even before! There's a gentle quality here that gets beyond the straighter pop of Warwick's 60s hits, and moves into the realm inhabited by Bacharach's sublime solo sets for A&M – a style that still has the singer at the forefront, but which is equally concerned with the full spectrum of sound on the set, and which has the whole album flowing together beautifully. Burt and Hal David produced, and arrangements are by Bacharach, Don Sebesky, and Bob James. Titles include a great reading of "Hasbrook Heights", plus "Just Have To Breathe", "The Balance Of Nature", "If You Never Say Goodbye", "Be Aware", "If We Only Have Love", and "Love Song". 

Just Being Myself is a surprisingly great album that has the lady working with the post-Motown production team of Holland-Dozier-Holland! There's a quality here that resonates strongly from the very first note – a bold move away from Bacharach to some of the more adult soul modes explored in the 70s – handled by HDH with full-on backings on some numbers, but with a more gentle Warwick-styled groove on others. The album's got a depth we never would have expected – especially from the slightly-soppy cover – and Dionne's manage to bring in all the strengths from earlier years, yet also recast them a bit with a fuller soul-based groove on the set. The album features the surprisingly funky "I'm Just Being Myself", which has some great sinister flute over skittish drums – plus the tracks "You're Gonna Need Me", "Come Back", "Don't Burn The Bridge", "Don't Let My Teardrops Bother You", and "I Think You Need Love". CD features bonus tracks that include "They Don't Give Medals", "Make It Easy On Yourself", "Who Gets The Guy", "He's Moving On", "Amanda", and "California".  

~ Dusty Groove

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