Thursday, December 22, 2011

SandieShaw - Reviewing The Situtuation (1969)




On her last album of the '60s, Shaw proved that she was hipper than a lot of people would have suspected. Moving away from the usual light pop and MOR, she chose a set of covers heavy on material by the likes of Bob Dylan, the Lovin' Spoonful, the Rolling Stones ("Sympathy for the Devil"!), Led Zeppelin's "Your Time Is Gonna Come" (double exclamation point!), Donovan, Dr. John, and the Bee Gees. Which doesn't mean it's a great album. It's thoughtfully arranged and energetically delivered, but Shaw's slight, wispy voice is as ill-suited for some of the material as a nun is for the mosh pit. Hearing her attempt even the slightest hint of funky menace, as on "Sympathy for the Devil" and Dr. John's "Mama Roux," is apt to induce snickers, however heartfelt the endeavor might have been. On the other hand, there's a nifty, slinky, jazzy cover of the Beatles' "Love Me Do," and her version of the Spoonful's "Coconut Grove" is also good. [The 2004 CD reissue on EMI adds two bonus tracks: a cover of Paul McCartney's "Junk"" and "Frank Mills" from Hair.]


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