Wally Tax

Love In

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Wally Tax is justly known mostly for his work as the lead singer of the Outsiders, Holland's finest 1960s band (and indeed a good candidate for one of the finest 1960s bands to emerge from any non-English-speaking country). In 1967, while the Outsiders were still at their peak, he started a side career as a soloist who saw the release of one LP, Love-In, as well as a couple of non-LP singles. Love-In is a curious, uneven affair, not least because the Outsiders were known for pretty raw, almost punky hybrids of British Invasion R&B, pop, and folk-rock, paced by Tax's oft-raunchy vocals. By contrast, Love-In is a gentle, orchestrated pop album that showed a much more subdued, poppy side to Tax's singing and songwriting. Tax sings in a rather lower and more crooning style than he used on the Outsiders records, and the songs are contemplative, sentimental, and occasionally even vaudevillian. Actually, it's not bad at all, but the production often goes overboard into overdone fruitiness. The best numbers are the most serious ones, where the backing almost sounds like it's trying to emulate the full-bodied orchestral pop/rock swell of a Dusty Springfield session. "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me," which is an entirely different song than the Dusty Springfield song of the same title, and "You Didn't Call Me" are melodramatic standouts in that respect. Other tunes, like "Last Night" and "It's Not Important to You," aren't that different from his folk-rockish Outsiders outings, except for employing much gaudier pop orchestration. Unfortunately, some numbers are trifling happy-go-lucky pieces. Flatulent horns afflict both good and bad songs; "Let's Forget What I Said" is grating in its emulation of pre rock vaudeville; and the insertion of fluttering bird noises between the tracks might not be to everyone's taste. At its best, though, it's got an engaging melodic moodiness. It's worth seeking out by Tax/Outsiders fans, though it's quite rare.

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