Jack Jones

I Am a Singer

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At 49, Jack Jones continued to try to make records that balanced the classic pop he had begun singing in the early 1960s with the contemporary pop/rock that had swamped him soon thereafter. This independent-label release managed a good mix of standards like "You've Changed" and "Here's That Rainy Day," and recent, complementary material such as Steve Perry's "Foolish Heart" and Billy Joel's "Leave a Tender Moment Alone." Most promisingly, Jones had a clutch of custom-written songs, including the title track and two others co-composed by Gerard Kenny (best known for Barry Manilow's hit "I Made It Through the Rain"). "I Am a Singer" worked as a straightforward self-description and gave the album something of a theme, followed up on "Wind Beneath My Wings." That song, previously a country and R&B hit, was given a tempered treatment by Jones that softened the self-serving, disingenuous sentiment of its lyrics. (Two years later, Bette Midler topped the pop charts with a far less restrained version.) Kenny's "All Because of Love" was a dramatic ballad that could have had a chance on adult contemporary radio if it had been released by a major label with some promotional muscle. And Jones even contributed to his own cause, co-writing the Brazilian-flavored "Another Rio." He may have continued to be a man out of time in pop music terms -- too young for the Frank Sinatra-led classic-pop era of the '50s, too old for the Barry Manilow-led power ballad era of the '70s -- but I Am a Singer was a reasonable effort by a still-viable singer trying to bridge a musical gap.

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