Percy Faith & His Orchestra

Themes for Young Lovers

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Moods get ugly in the research lab when the muzak experimentation sessions are underway, nonetheless Percy Faith gets a special tip of the hat for knowing what he is doing, for figuring out what the essential elements of any song are, combining them as if brewing tea and then always making sure there is a drum part that could drown everything else out were it just nudged up a touch.

Faith versions of songs are so well known, some of them actually having followed up the Rolling Stones on radio shows during the psychedelic era, that listeners can actually recognize them. Essentially, this means Faith doesn't exactly create muzak at all, since nobody in their right mind would "recognize" an easy listening track. Generously buoyed by tunes from the best known pop hitmaking teams of the late '50s and early '60s, this selection grooves along with a rhythmic bounce all its own. Orchestra members are not identified, meaning there's no way to personally thank the fine saxophonist for a nice solo "On Broadway," Faith in this case makes the familiar surprising by overlapping an ascending harmonic variation, a bit like looking off the boardwalk and seeing the waves moving backwards. One thing Faith never did on these types of records was turn the rhythm section down too low. While the melodies of "Can't Get Used to Losing You" or "My Coloring Book" are turned into overly large washes of sound by excessively expanded sections, the pulsations of the rhythm instruments are a secure reminder of the song's actual origin, a close relation to if not exactly rock & roll. [Sony reissued the album with a bonus track in 2007.]

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