The Four Pennies

2 Sides of the 4 Pennies

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This is an album that truly lives up to its title, in the most bizarre way possible. The Four Pennies' pleasant but lightweight sound makes for a reasonably upbeat album for the first nine songs, long on melodies and ballads -- which is what the Four Pennies did best -- and light on the amperage. They do a surprisingly good version of "Will You Love Me Tomorrow," with all of the elements -- the elegant lead vocals and harmonies, the instruments turned up to about "two," and the dignified tone -- coming together. And then a shock: at the end of Side Two of the original disc, "Pony Time" throws out most of the propriety and neatness of the rest of the record, and "Come to Me" and "Why Do You Cry" give them a sound that could pass for the Beatles, the Searchers, or Gerry & the Pacemakers, with solid electric guitars turned up and out in front of the group's sound. What's lacking on the first nine songs is excitement, however, as even the group's faster-paced tracks, such as "Do You Want Me To," resemble the Everly Brothers on a coffee jag more than typical British Invasion sounds. Not only wasn't the wattage there for anything heavier weight, but the quartet was simply too dignified to generate anything tougher -- the resulting album, apart from the last three numbers, is like an entire LP with the texture of the Beatles' "Till There Was You."

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