Dean Martin

Pretty Baby

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    5
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Dean Martin waited two years following Swingin' Down Yonder before recording his second full-length LP, Pretty Baby (though, of course, he recorded singles, EPs, and film soundtrack material in the interim). This time, under the baton of Lee Gillette, he essayed a 12-song set of ballads, among them semi-standards (and Bing Crosby hits) like "It's Easy to Remember" and "Only Forever." He didn't seem nearly as involved as he had on the uptempo Swingin' Down Yonder, and the gimmicky female backup accompaniment undercut the romantic mood, making this a less satisfying album than it might have been. Still attempting to reconstruct his career in the wake of his breakup with Jerry Lewis, Martin doesn't seem to have focused yet on his potential as an albums artist, and this collection doesn't rank with those of competitors and labelmates like Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole.

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