Charlie Landsborough

Love in a Song

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After waiting 30 years to become an "overnight sensation," Liverpool's finest long-haired troubadour, Charlie Landsborough, continues to make up for lost time with Love in a Song, his 12th studio album since his long-overdue commercial breakthrough in 1994. Surprisingly, for an artist synonymous with interpreting other people's work, the follow-up to 2008's Under Blue Skies is only the second of his career to focus entirely on cover versions. Those already familiar with his slightly Scouse-accented lilting tones, easy listening country-folk sound, and repertoire of classic Nashville, rock & roll, and '60s pop standards should know what to expect (the most recent thing here is Billy Joel's 1977 single "Just The Way You Are"), as its overly generous 17 tracks skip through the sounds of his youth, from a faithful performance of Don Gibson's honky tonk classic "Sea of Heartbreak" to a steel guitar-tinged adaptation of Crazy Horse's "I Don't Want to Talk About It" and a rendition of the Turtles' "Happy Together," equally jaunty as the original. While tracks from the usual suspects such as the Beatles ("And I Love Her"), Bob Dylan ("Make You Feel My Love"), and Don McLean ("Vincent") are out in force, there are a few surprises, such as an emotive piano-led interpretation of Cliff Richard's "Miss You Nights" and a tenderly wistful take on Mike Batt's "Railway Hotel," while regular collaborator Pete Ware's subtle and understated acoustic arrangements allow Landsborough's gentle world-weary vocals to put their own spin on the more ubiquitous selections of "The Wind Beneath My Wings" and "I Only Have Eyes for You." Like most of his output, Love in a Song never really strays from the simple sounds of his busking roots, but what it lacks in invention, it undeniably makes up for in charm.