The prior The Best of Rosie & the Originals compilation on Ace had already found it a stretch to gather enough material to pad out a full-length retrospective, relying on numerous previously unissued tracks and flop singles to make up the quota. Angel Baby Revisited, a collection of odds and ends that didn't make it onto the best-of, really scours too deep and wide to come up with yet another disc's worth of material, much of which really doesn't deserve a hearing. This kind of release is for collectors who want everything, though, not more discriminating listeners. Still, even such collectors may be disappointed to find that only eight of these 23 tracks are from Rosie's early-'60s heyday. Six of those vintage numbers are taken from her 1961 Lonely Blue Nights album, and are mediocre, light, early-'60s pop-R&B, though she sings pretty well on these. The other two are from her rare, and similarly unremarkable, 1962 single on Globe. Few details are given about the origins of the remaining selections, all but one of which date from 2000-2001. Rosie sings alright on these modern recordings, but the material is uninspired (whether remakes of oldies or otherwise), and the production is perfunctory and sometimes ill-suited in its modern instrumentation. When it gets to a cappella versions of "Dedicated to the One I Love" and "Angel Baby," and spoken radio IDs for oldies stations, there seems to be some hidden desperation on the part of the compilers to come up with full-length, if not high-value, product. The one remaining selection is the oddest one: "I Don't Understand," dated as a 1973 Wax World release on the track listing, sounds like it might have been recorded a few years later, with its fairly fetching retro lo-fi production and cross of light soul and adult pop vocal styles.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Richie Unterberger