Bobby Sherman

The Very Best of Bobby Sherman [Restless]

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In the '60s and early '70s, Bobby Sherman was the teen idol parents feared the least. If they worried about their teenagers idolizing the Beatles or the Rolling Stones -- not to mention Jimi Hendrix or Jim Morrison -- they weren't the least bit concerned when posters of Bobby Sherman turned up on bedroom walls. In fact, they probably breathed a sigh of relief. Rock critics hated Sherman, and many hard rockers and psychedelic artists considered him square and vanilla. But as this collection of Sherman's late-'60s and early-'70s recordings demonstrates, Sherman's music wasn't without its pleasures. Sunny, clean-cut hits like "Julie, Do Ya Love Me?," "Little Woman," and "La La La (If I Had You)" must be taken for what they are -- pure, unapologetic bubblegum teen pop -- instead of being criticized for what they're not. In retrospect, the most ironic song on the album has to be "Seattle," an ode to the Emerald City. The popster makes Seattle sound like the most wholesome place on Earth, which is incredibly ironic when you consider that 20 years later, the city would be synonymous with grunge -- a style that is the antithesis of Sherman's. Meanwhile, Sherman's cover of Del Shannon's "Runaway" pales in comparison to the original, and when he tries to be Bobby Darin on "Mr. Success," he merely ends up sounding like a bad Las Vegas lounge act. But for the most part, The Very Best of Bobby Sherman paints a likable, if unremarkable, picture of the one-time teen idol.

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