Almost in Love

Elvis Presley

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Almost in Love Review

by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

A spiritual sequel to the Camden comp Let's Be Friends that came out a few months earlier in 1970, Almost in Love rounds up non-LP singles largely recorded between 1968 and 1969 -- some hits, some not, some from movies, some not. Unlike Let's Be Friends, Almost in Love has a few fairly significant hits: the American Sound Studio gem "Rubberneckin'," which charted as the flip of "Don't Cry Daddy," the brassy, swaggering Jerry Reed tune "U.S. Male," and "A Little Less Conversation," which didn't truly enter the Elvis canon until JXL remixed it in 2002. Surrounding these three anchors is the terrific Mac Davis/Billy Strange tune "Clean Up Your Own Backyard" (the pair is also responsible for the cinematic Western sweep of "Charro!"), the fine American Sound leftover "My Little Friend," and "Long Legged Girl (With the Short Dress On)," a groovy blast poached from Double Trouble. The rest of the record simmers on a similar level: "Stay Away" encroaches on Glen Campbell's orchestrated country, while the Hollywood-spun psychedelia of "Edge of Reality" proves strangely compelling and the title track is a slice of MOR bossa nova that would've sounded equally at home in the hands of Frank Sinatra. This surprising, almost accidental, high quality turns Almost in Love into an oddly satisfying record: it's a cross section of all the different styles Elvis dabbled in at the dawn of the '70s.

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