Peter Sarstedt

As Though It Were a Movie

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For his second album, Sarstedt toned down the self-conscious, somewhat conceited flavor of his debut. In other words, he sounds less full of himself; songs like "The Artist" even approach something like seriousness, rather than ridiculous hippie musings, smug putdowns, or starched humor. It's a bit earthier than the previous effort, but still infused with a manic eclecticism, from the coffeehouse musings of "Open a Tin" and the grandoise Celtic rock of "The Friendship Song" to the pretentious instrumental "Overtures" and "Intermissions." "Take Off Your Clothes" sounds like something Peter Sellers might have sung to satirize contemporary singer-songwriters (though Sellers would have probably been funnier). Pretentious in spots, somewhat affecting in others, it still leaves us some distance from getting a feel for who Sarstedt is and what (if anything) he cares about.

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