Monday 29 September 2008

Lulu "Lulu's Album" (1969) (News, Views and Music 6)

 An Old Favourite I’m Currently Grooving To: “Why did I choose you?!?...”  “Lulu’s Album” by, err, Lulu surprisingly, dating from 1969 when the Scottish teenager was at the end of her troubled relationship with producer Mickie Most. The earlier releases by that partnership are amazing indeed (well, apart from ‘boom-bang-a-bang’ they are anyway) and most of first album ‘Love Loves to Love Lulu’ and a myriad of classic A and B sides from 1967-69 are already reviewed here under the Music For Pleasure compilation ‘I’m A Tiger’ (review no 91). This second and last Mickie Most LP isn’t even close to being in the same league—by this time, Lulu is really beginning to resent being given old standards and twee pop songs to sing, whilst Mickie Most is chomping at the bit when Lulu’s given space to do her favoured R and B material because it messes up his own masterplan of making Lulu an all-round entertainer superstar. The album ‘Love loves’ is an uneasy hybrid of the two, but practically all the selections chosen by both sides are so spot-on for Lulu’s voice and wide-ranging talents that it gets away with it—this album, which tries to be more of the same, simply doesn’t because the songs aren’t as strong.

The range  - from Judy Garland’s sweet ’The Boy Next Door’ to Stevie Winwood’s pounding and earthy ’Gimme Some Lovin’ - is ridiculous, but take the tracks one at a time and its still an impressive album, with Lulu showing off many facets of her voice, from brash shouting to subtle daydreaming. Most loved moment: ’Gimme Some Lovin’ isn’t quite up to Lulu’s earlier pop-funk songs (’That’s Really Some Good’ from her first album ‘Shout!’ is, perhaps, the best example of that) but this song’s build from gentle groove to burning fever pitch is well-handled and Lulu’s vocally bang on the money here. Most reviled moment: ’Come September’ is the most off-key performance of Lulu’s catalogue, but this squeaking unsubtle can’t-wait-to-be-married song doesn’t exactly give her much scope to begin with (unusually, its by long-term Lulu writers Mark London and Don Black, writers of ‘To Sir With Love’ among many others, having perhaps the only off-day of their released collaborations). Star rating / 10: ♫♫♫♫ (4/10)

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