André Kostelanetz

Plays Great Hits of Today

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Playing the great hits of today is one thing -- doing them justice is another, and André Kostelanetz falls wide of the mark on this 1973 release. As always, Kostelanetz gravitates toward midtempo fare and romantic ballads, including Tony Orlando's "Tie a Yellow Ribbon," the Carpenters' "Sing," and Roberta Flack's "Killing Me Softly," but his arrangements are overbaked, even antiquated. Worse still are his wooden renditions of Stevie Wonder's "You Are the Sunshine of My Life" and Paul Simon's "Kodachrome," which possess none of the soulfulness or feeling of the originals. The criticism consistently lodged against Kostelanetz is that his records are interchangeable, but what that blanket assessment fails to acknowledge is that some are far drearier than others, and Plays Great Hits of Today ranks among the very dreariest.