All indications are that Ellie Greenwich certainly could have established herself as a performer, as well as a songwriter. But Greenwich, unlike her Brill Building peer Carole King, never reached her full potential as a recording artist, although she did make some interesting discs, both as a solo singer and a member of the Raindrops. I Can Hear Music is a 17-track survey of her fairly slim body of work as a performer, and while the high points are very good, it's ultimately disappointing, both in its debatable track selection and the feeling that Greenwich wasn't always firing on all cylinders when she was the singer, and not the songwriter. This opens with three tracks by the Raindrops, including the hit "The Kind of Boy You Can't Forget" and their versions of "Da Do Ron Ron" and "Hanky Panky," although it's unfortunate that a few of their other better sides weren't included (there is a Raindrops collection on Sequel, The Complete Raindrops, if you want to hear those). The fabulous 1965 single "You Don't Know" follows, but its flipside, "Baby," is missing, as is the outtake "Another Boy Like Mine" (which has shown up on import). Then there are three good songs from her 1967 album Ellie Greenwich Composes, Produces & Sings, showing her still capable of delivering tuneful New York pop/rock, even if it was on the verge of becoming outdated. Most problematically, the compilation is dominated by ten songs from 1973's Let It Be Written, Let It Be Sung, which was largely devoted to covers of hits Greenwich helped write in the 1960s -- "Maybe I Know," "Be My Baby," "Chapel of Love," "River Deep, Mountain High," and so forth. Certainly Greenwich's voice was in respectable shape for these, but they beg unfavorable comparison with the more familiar and better originals. It would have been better for this anthology to include more items from her 1967 LP and other 1960s' releases, perhaps to the exclusion of some tracks from the 1973 album.
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AllMusic Review by Richie Unterberger