Jim Nabors

Sincerely/Town & Country

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Jim Nabors is a love-him-or-hate-him vocalist -- you either appreciate big-voiced, traditional pop singers in the manner of Tony Martin and Mario Lanza, or you don't. If you do, Sincerely/Town & Country is an excellent pairing of two country-pop albums Nabors recorded for Lawrence Welk's Ranwood label. Most of the songs are romantic ballads, exemplified by Nabors' rendition of Charlie Rich's "Behind Closed Doors." He's at his best on "Today I Started Loving You Again" and "Sundown in the Suburbs," when he simply sings the songs without fixating on his vocal technique, which can seem overly manicured at times. He's not the equal of Martin or Lanza -- his voice occasionally wavers, and he turns too many of his vowels into an "aw" sound for the sake of projecting -- but when he nails it, he is very good. Most of the cuts are covers of pop and country-pop hits, but now and then an obscurity pops up such as Pal Owen's "All the Porches Are Empty." Nabors' willingness to include both "I Write the Songs" and "Feelings" on the same album shows his unrepentant allegiance to the most heart-on-your-sleeve balladry 1970s easy listening music had to offer. If he had included "You Light Up My Life," he would have hit the trifecta. The song "Weekend in New England" is listed on the packaging as track 21 but does not appear on the CD.

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