George Burns

Young at Heart

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Hey, if George Burns wants to make records while in his eighties, who are we to argue? One of America's greatest entertainers made a series of albums for Mercury Nashville, and even snatched a hit in "I Wish I Was Eighteen Again," a bittersweet look at days gone by. Granted, the production style is pure countrypolitan, and the strings and female chorus that back most tracks can grate on the nerves. The material would have been better served with Burns singing to spare accompaniment in order to get a stronger sense of intimacy between performer and audience. The songs themselves generally are either old standards of popular music or songs that befit a man of Burns' age and knowledge. He brings an appeal based on his life's experiences to such standards as "You're Nobody Till Somebody Loves You" and especially "Young At Heart." In the cut "The Old Fashion Way," Burns wryly ad-libs, "I've been around a while. I know a little about love." One can almost envision him saying that, smiling up on stage and flicking his cigar. No, this compilation is no masterpiece of popular music. But despite the slick production values brought to the album, the material is solid and Burns is nothing less than charming on these recordings.

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