Listen to the Warm is an album of Rod McKuen's poems and songs released in tandem with a book of the same name. McKuen recites the poem "A Cat Named Sloopy" over an orchestral bed that quotes bits of the melody from "A Man Alone," and "Round, Round, Round" is a hushed mixture of spoken word and song set to a soft waltz that summons childhood memories of merry-go-rounds and calliopes. "Listen to the Warm" is the most famous song in the bunch, having been recorded by Glenn Yarbrough. McKuen later incorporated the title of the poem "The Ducks on the Millpond" into the song "Kaleidoscope," and that isn't the only example of lines and ideas from poems on Listen to the Warm that later cropped up in his songs. The spoken word content shares much in common with the reflective, melancholy recitations from pop music (Jimmy Dean's "To a Sleeping Beauty," for example), and McKuen's conversational style is easily accessible (as his tremendous success as a poet proves). Listen to the Warm addresses his familiar topics -- cats, loss, loneliness, the seasons, and small pleasures -- creating a quiet and contemplative mood album for listeners predisposed to his unique style.
AllMusic Review by Greg Adams