Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Revelatory reissue of teen idol's latter-day artistic triump
hyperbolium | Earth, USA | 11/21/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Those who know Hyland's work probably remember this album's #3 charting single, "Gypsy Woman"; others will peg him for his 1960 novelty "Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini," or his classic 1962 long-summer hit "Sealed With a Kiss." All three provide elements of Hyland's sound - playful, melodic and dramatic - but none fully prepare you for the brilliance of this 1970 come-back LP.
With fellow pop master Del Shannon in the producer's chair, Hyland sang a superbly selected set of covers and originals. The opening medley from Westside Story is turned from show tune to soul-searching adult-contemporary pop, with drums, bass and piano in front of a compelling string arrangement. Hyland is surprisingly effective as a blue-eyed soul singer on Jackie Wilson's "Lonely Teardrops," and with the help of a fuzz-guitar, Larry Williams' "Slow Down" is turned into a credible blues-rock shout.
Hyland is a gifted artist - much more gifted than his hit singles revealed - able to marry the qualities of his voice to the demands of his material. His version of "The Thrill is Gone" won't make you forget B.B. King, but neither will it have you fast-forwarding to the next track, and his hit rendition of Curtis Mayfield's "Gypsy Woman" perfectly modernizes the Impressions original into early-70s soul. Shannon's arrangements follow suit, cannily melding a pure-pop background into the songs' own structures.
Hyland and Shannon's originals are just as good as the covers, winningly mixing bass-guitar-and-drums with organ, strings and horns. "On the East Side" and "I'm Without You" show influences of the Hollies and Zombies, as well as the production-pop sounds of California. "Drivin' Me Crazy" has a fuzz-guitar underlining the vocal longing and McCartney-esque bass, and Hyland's folky song of suicide, "Mail Order Gun," brings to mind Paul Simon's early "A Most Peculiar Man."
Hip-O Select's reissue reproduces the album's original eleven tracks, and houses the CD in a slightly-oversized mini-LP cover preproduction. Sound is excellent, but the lack of new liner notes explaining the circumstances and fate of this LP is disappointing. Pop fans should snap this up while you can still find it, as the reissue was limited to 5000 copies - you'll kick yourself for missing it a second time! [©2006 hyperbolium dot com]"
You & Me
Glenn L. Hornbeek | Arizona | 09/30/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I could not find this on vinyl so had to pick up the CD--beautiful packaging--even the CD looks like the label of the record (Uni label) in a nice sleeve--deluxe job!
Music is great..Gypsy Woman, You & Me....Like the previous reviewer noted there could have been some bonus tracks appended--like all the UNI singles and B-Sides ("No Place To Run" "Only Want To Make You Happy" etc)--but why complain. Lucky to have it on any format at all. Highly recommended."