Frank Ifield

I'm Confessin'

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"I'm Confessin' (That I Love You)," like all of Frank Ifield's 1960s pop hits, took an old hit and updated it in his Slim Whitman-meets-Wayne Newton style. The album of the same name presents that minor hit and ten other treatments of country and pop favorites from "Stardust" to "Tumbling Tumbleweeds." The country-pop arrangements emphasize the pop side of the equation, and Ifield's suave, stylized performances have "showman" written all over them. The swingin' organ and Ifield's Vegas inflections on "Mule Train" are pretty comical, similar to his over-the-top 1962 rendition of Hank Williams' "Lovesick Blues." "I Don't Know Enough About You" and a revamped "Hey, Joe!" (yes, Carl Smith's honky tonk hit) take Ifield's traditional pop inclinations to their logical conclusion with brassy big band charts that drive home the Wayne Newton comparison. Ifield grew up in Australia, which probably explains the inclusion of "Waltzing Matilda"; he doesn't perform it as a waltz and tampers with the melody until it's nearly unrecognizable. Ifield was a great stylist, but got pigeonholed in the early '60s as an interpreter of golden oldies; I'm Confessin' focuses on that facet of his career.

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