Petula Clark

My Love

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    6
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Clark's My Love album was recorded in New York City, her first time working there, and the venue may have something to do with the superior sound and the differences between this and her prior albums. Clark's voice is in fine form throughout this part of her career, but her accompaniments on songs like "The Life and Soul of the Party" and "My Love" have a crispness, precision, and bite that transcend much of her other work. There are also some surprises, including some bluesy guitar on the break of the former and a drummer who's kicking the hell out of his kit on the latter (musician credits would've been nice). The album's fault lies, to some extent, in a degree of sameness between the songs -- Clark does try to vary her approach to the different numbers, but at some point there's a repetitive nature to her style and intonation, which only means that she wasn't primarily an album artist, at least not when she was doing albums made up virtually entirely of songs written (or co-written) by producer Tony Hatch, spiced with a Lennon-McCartney tune ("We Can Work It Out") or other outside work. Clark co-wrote several of the numbers here, and they're not vanity productions -- she was a competent composer. The 1999 Sequel Records remastering has helped the sound, and made the record work better, but there are still flaws, including a hopeless pop version of the Beatles' "Rain" (appended as a bonus track) and Clark's tendency to slide from edgy, rhythmic British beat sound into light pop music.

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