Mac Davis

I Believe in Music

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Mac Davis tightened his focus considerably for his 1972 sequel I Believe in Music. The title track already scaled the charts in a version by the AM pop band Gallery, well on its way to becoming a ‘70s standard, and it provided the touchstone for Davis’ approach on his second album: he ditched the artistic flourishes -- including, thankfully, the brief bridges connecting songs -- and concentrated on his commercial craft, cutting his own versions of “A Little Less Conversation,” “Watching Scotty Grow” and “Something’s Burning,” pairing them with gentle, sentimental pop and some pounding, polished, country-soul, highlighted by the raving “Yesterday and You.” Moments like this don’t arrive too often, though: the insistent hooks arrive via the well-known hits, leaving most of the new songs as delicate acoustic numbers that play well in the context of this record but didn’t work as radio-ready singles. The next time around, Davis would give himself his big, splashy original tune “Baby Don’t Get Hooked on Me,” thereby finally hitting the big time, but here he’s still finding his voice as a recording artist. He’s almost there, but the results are most interesting in how his versions of his older songs point the way at what was to come.

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