Brenda Lee

Sincerely, Brenda Lee

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Brenda Lee had made popular standards a part of her recorded repertoire almost from the time she started making records. But on this 1962 album (known both as Sincerely and Sincerely, Brenda Lee), these did not so much add to her versatility as tilt the LP away from the strengths that had made her so popular in the first place. It wasn't unknown for rock singers to make albums dominated by adult-oriented material in an attempt to broaden their appeal, and Lee could sing this kind of stuff well. The problem was that the record featured almost nothing but these kind of songs, most of them taken at a slow tempo, and none of them rock & rollers (or hit singles, for that matter). As a result, it's one of the more forgettable albums from her prime, of value only to big fans and completists. All that stated, it's not a terrible record, benefiting from Owen Bradley's typically lush-yet-tasteful orchestral production and characteristically committed Lee vocal performances. None of the tracks are outstanding, however, though none are embarrassing and a few are decent, particularly the one up-tempo number, "Fools Rush In." "Hold Me" is also of note, as it's the same song that P.J. Proby would make into a huge British rock hit in 1964, though it's done in a much more conventional slower romantic fashion here.

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