Suite for Late Summer

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Dion had settled into being a pretty average-'70s singer/songwriter by 1972 when Suite for Late Summer appeared, albeit a singer/songwriter with a very above-average voice. The songs (mostly original) were average, though, and Russ Titelman's production was on the lush side. There's a sluggish introspection to most of the tracks, and the occasional injection of melodic melancholy -- as on "Soft Parade of Years," or the classical string arrangement embroidering on "It All Fits Together" -- does it quite a bit of good. "Jennifer Knew," though, has to count as one of the highlights of his post-'60s work, with strings that just about manage to enhance the drama, rather than deaden it, and memorably haunting passages.

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