In a situation guaranteed to cause confusion among discographers until the end of time, the Dave Clark Five issued two albums titled 5 X 5 in the 1960s that had entirely different contents. The one described in this review is the first of these, issued in the United States in 1967 with the title spelled "5 X 5." The second, issued in the U.K. 1969, has the full title spelled as follows: "5 X 5 = Go! 14 Titles by Dave Clark Five." That clarification out of the way, this U.S. 1967 LP found the quintet playing pretty much in the same style they had been using since their first hit, even though trends were passing them by left and right by this point. Even judged on its own merits and not as to whether it was cutting-edge for its era, it shows the group's approach starting to wear a little thin, mostly owing to the shortage of good material. "Nineteen Days" was the only hit single here (and not big one, falling a little short of the Top 40), and saw them trying on a slightly more aggressive guitar sound and histrionic vocal delivery. Otherwise they often stick to their usual good-time, simple love songs without the killer hooks of their best work. And a few of the tracks simply come off poorly, those being the country ballad "Picture of You" and the Lovin' Spoonful-like "Sitting Here Baby." The pop ballad "Bernadette" gets into more melodic territory, but without the quality of prior similar efforts along those lines like "Because" and "Crying Over You." Only "You Don't Want My Loving" shows them close to hitting their stride, with a passionate Mike Smith lead vocal and almost Yardbirds-influenced gloomy melody, background chanting, and mid-song change of gear into a rave-up.
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