Ray Conniff

Speak to Me of Love

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It's easy to see why Ray Conniff's albums were so appealing to listeners, particularly older ones: He took old-fashioned musical rudiments like traditional pop songs and a big vocal group and added a snappy, modern veneer that bridged the gap between the '60s and the era before rock & roll. Speak to Me of Love keeps the vocals high in the mix and maintains the happy beat even through dour material; "Who's Sorry Now," for example, is a song of revenge sung with a friendly smile. Pee Wee King's 1950 hit "Slow Poke" receives the kitschiest treatment of any song here, with altered lyrics and an amusing arrangement. Al Hendrickson's electric guitar is given more prominence than the instrument usually receives on Conniff's albums, adding to the level of energy and fun. Speak to Me of Love wasn't one of Conniff's highest-charting albums, but offers more than its share of pure enjoyment.

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