Engelbert Humperdinck

Love's Only Love

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The only place you'll find the name Humperdinck on Love's Only Love is next to the address for his fan club. It's just Engelbert on this 1980 release produced by Joel Diamond, a consistent collection of ten songs done with all the grand elegance one expects on this artist's recordings. The material is good to very good, though there are no outstanding numbers like the original "Can't Smile Without You," "After the Lovin'," or "Love's in Need of Love Today" from Songs in the Key of Life; in fact, the title track here by songwriter Paul Ryan comes off like a sequel to the great rendition of Stevie Wonder's aforementioned tune, just not as memorable. Engelbert remakes the Top Ten Melissa Manchester hit from the year before, "Don't Cry Out Loud," and it is nice to get the male perspective on this song of disappointment and empowerment. Nat King Cole's "Unforgettable" is perfect for EH, but it is what is expected and doesn't add anything new to the memory. Producer Joel Diamond should have teamed the singer up with Natalie Cole, who was in the middle of her reign of hits, 11 years before she would duet with her dad's old tape on this very song. One duet would've given the album a bit more personality. Like 1978's Last of the Romantics, you have to give Engelbert an A for effort. He delivers the product that the public wants -- the theme to the film Just Tell Me You Love Me, Edith Piaf's "If You Love Me (Really Love Me)," "Any Kind of Love at All" -- and those titles give you the picture. It's an album of mostly love songs with the country-ish "Don't Touch That Dial" thrown in as an up-tempo change of pace, quality music with Engelbert's photo on the cover aimed right at his female audience. One just would have hoped the label and producer could have found the singer a song on the level of "After the Lovin'" -- it's all that is missing from Love's Only Love.

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