Molly Ringwald

Except… Sometimes

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Well, of course Molly Ringwald was going to sing "Don't You (Forget About Me)" on her 2013 singing debut Except Sometimes -- it provides the hook to draw the curious into the fold, to bring in listeners who may otherwise have never paid attention to another album of an actor singing standards. And, in most regards, Except Sometimes is indeed another album of actors singing standards, distinguished by a more-adventurous-than-usual selection of songs (Ringwald has good taste and an aversion to shopworn warhorses) and a nicely intimate vibe, suggesting a comfortable, brightly lit nightclub where smoking was prohibited long, long ago. Apart from "Don't You (Forget About Me)," there are no radical rearrangements here, so what carries the day is that sweet, softly swinging feel, as Ringwald is a game but limited singer, hampered slightly by her thin, airless voice. Certainly, she seems to be enjoying herself but she also seems overly concerned with hitting her marks; her phrasing is precise and mannered, contradicting the otherwise relaxed vibes of the record. If Ringwald wasn't well-known, odds are Except Sometimes would never have shown up on a major label, but that's no reason to hate it: it's too cheerful and slight to inspire hate. It's merely a pleasant curiosity, one that seems like you've heard it before.

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