Ray Charles

Take Me Along!

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As Ray Charles Singers records go, Take Me Along! is actually kinda hip. As always, the lush harmonies seem more a product of genetic engineering than genuine human soul, but the elasticity and thematic consistency of the material is enough to separate the album from the rest of the chorus' catalog. The title cut was first recorded for United Airlines (which also supplied the aircraft pictured on the front cover), and accordingly the songs boast a jet-setting, international flair that spans from the bossa nova rhythms of the Bacharach/David perennial "The Look of Love" to the romantic French grandeur of Michel Legrand's "Watch What Happens." The arrangements are also a notch above the Charles norm, best exemplified by the subtle summer-of-love groove that underscores the singers' rendition of the Association's "Windy."