This is Connie Stevens' second long-player and perhaps the one most directly associated with her tenure as nightclub singer Cricket Blake (1959-1963) on the television spy drama Hawaiian Eye. Through an onslaught of cross promotion, she quickly became -- as unabashedly proclaimed on the cover art -- "the new singing sensation of television." Under the direction of noted Hollywood and Los Angeles arrangers/conductors Carl Brandt, Warren Barker, Don Ralkle, and Hal Hidey, Stevens' vocals are scored in a number of settings which reflect the moods and temperaments of the pop music-buying public in the late '50s and early '60s. Another sign of the times is that the record company chose to borrow a quarter of the album -- "The Trolley Song," "Why Try to Change Me Now," "Slow Boat to China," and "Too Young" -- from her first LP, Conchetta (1958). Opening the album is the typically languid '50s love ballad "Sixteen Reasons," which would become one of Stevens' biggest singles, ultimately selling millions as well as scoring her a Top Five hit. Another tale of teen romance is "Why Do I Cry for Joey?." Both tracks feature Stevens' vocals swaddled in heavy orchestration complete with chorus -- somewhat typifying the Johnny Ray-esque balladry here. Stevens' facilities as an actress are most fully incorporated into the traditional pop tunes such as "Slow Boat to China" and "Too Young," giving her renditions an emotive and almost noir jazz edge. On the other side of the pop music spectrum are the kitschy and somewhat dated "A Little Kiss Is a Kiss Is a Kiss" and "Apollo," which were among the five tracks on this LP to also be featured as subsequent 45 rpm singles. These tunes are lightweight efforts when compared to the truly affective performances that Stevens gives on the remainder of the LP. So popular were Stevens' singing appearances on Hawaiian Eye that "Let's Do It" from this disc was included on the show's soundtrack album. The ultimately favorable responses that she garnered from Connie Stevens As Cricket in 'Hawaiian Eye' would secure her third and final long-player for Warner Bros., a lushly orchestrated affair recorded in Germany called From Me to You (1962).
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Lindsay Planer