Reuniting with arranger and conductor Don Costa, Johnny Mathis takes on more standards inside the grooves of the Ernie Altschuler-produced Romantically album. As different as night and day from his Top 40 entry from the same year -- 1963's "What Will My Mary Say" (not on this disc) -- Johnny covers Kurt Weill's "September Song," as well as the themes to The Sound Of Music and Carnival. The usually consistent Mathis sounds a bit too heavy and overly dramatic at times, especially on "All That Is Missing" and "The Sound f Music," his voice not as playful there as on his chart songs. But it works very effectively on "Hi-Lili, Hi-Lo," "Friendly Persuasion," and "Autumn In New York." This album was recorded during the classic phase of the icon's career, his Top 40 hits coming to a halt around this time. There would be a 15-year gap before he would see that kind of attention again. And while all his releases throughout the 1970s have precision and value, there's something very special about the forces at play here. Romantically is just that, "In Wisconsin" perfect for any "bachelor pad" compilation, and Side One just a lovely slice of orchestrated treasures.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Joe Viglione