Dear Heart and Other Songs About Love is billed as Henry Mancini's first all-choral album, but he had worked with a vocal chorus many times in the past, so the "departure" is not very unusual. "Soldier in the Rain" is an instrumental piece with a wordless chorus of the sort that filled many an instrumental album of the era, but the rest of the tracks are actual songs performed by a mixed choir. The vocals and instrumentation are credited to Henry Mancini & His Orchestra & Chorus, an assemblage of studio artists. The songs encompass soundtrack cuts ("Dear Heart"), recent hits ("The Girl from Ipanema"), assorted pop compositions, and one delightful novelty ("The New 'Frankie and Johnnie' Song"). Mancini is better known for his orchestral arrangements -- his choral arrangements are well-done, but not as "intriguingly original" as the liner notes would lead you to believe. Dear Heart and Other Songs About Love lacks the readily identifiable sound of a Ray Conniff, for example, but is similar in tone and construction. A vocal version of Mancini's theme, "Mr. Lucky," is one item of special interest on this album.
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AllMusic Review by Greg Adams