Les Baroques

Barbarians with Love

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Les Baroques' second and final album, recorded after original lead singer Gary O'Shannon's departure, is a mediocre outing that bears little relationship to the material they released in 1965 and 1966. O'Shannon's replacement, Michel van Dijk (who also took on some of the songwriting duties), had a subpar white soul style on the numerous tunes that owed something to contemporary soul trends. More problematic was the weak material, with none of the morose and dementia-tinged melancholy that had colored their output with O'Shannon. In addition to the unmemorable blue-eyed soul, there was tepid flower-power ("Love in the Sun") and bad vaudeville revivalism ("I Dreamed My Dreams Away"). The high spots, such as they are, would be "Oh, Look How Sweet," which isn't half-bad baroque pop in the English style, and a moody instrumental organ workout on the standard "I'm Coming Home Baby." The rare original LP isn't worth searching for, but you can find all of the songs on the Dutch double-CD compilation Such a Cad: The Complete Story of Les Baroques, which is itself hard to track down.