Harry Belafonte

The Warm Touch

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The Belafonte studio rut continued with this generally bland collection of ballads written by prominent folk-rock singer/songwriters. Traditional folk music had long since been forgotten, as had world music, at least as far as Belafonte's studio albums were concerned, and now it seemed that he was trying, almost desperately, to hang on to his aging audience. The song selection wasn't bad: James Taylor was represented by three tunes, "Something In the Way She Moves," "Circle 'Round the Sun," and "Rainy Day Man." Belafonte also sang versions of Tom Rush's "No Regrets" and Joni Mitchell's "The Circle Game." There was even an attempt to cover Gayle Caldwell's "Cycles," which Frank Sinatra had turned into a minor hit in 1968. But the arrangements by Robert Freedman and William Eaton were tepid, and although Belafonte, at 44, was still in top voice, he couldn't rise above the unimaginative arrangements alone.

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