Ray Charles

Have a Smile with Me

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The idea behind this LP was to offer a lighthearted sequel to its quasi-concept predecessor, Sweet & Sour Tears. There's nothing wrong with the idea of letting Charles just kick back and have fun, but "The Thing" and "The Man with the Weird Beard" transcend the boundaries of humor into silliness and, worse, stupidity. On the other hand, he also turns out a good jazzy version of Hank Williams' "Move It on Over" (the record's highlight), and manages to swing through fairly superficial fare like "Ma (She's Making Eyes at Me)" and "Two Ton Tessie" with solid flair. It was another inconsistent '60s set, the shortage of top-notch tunes disguised by a flimsy concept, though he elevates the material with soulful vocals and good arrangements, particularly when the Raeletts back him up (as they do on half the tracks).

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