Timi Yuro

What's a Matter Baby

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The title track of Timi Yuro's third album, What's a Matter Baby, was one of her biggest hits, both on the charts and in terms of sound: more than once, Yuro's voice saturates the song, sending recording gauges (and eardrums) into the red. Yuro's big, beautiful, powerful voice lent itself to a variety of settings; aside from the soulful "What's a Matter Baby" and "Hurt," she tackled more mature-sounding orchestral pop, country-pop, and other styles, many of which are represented here. While the more staid "It's Too Soon to Know," "Guess Who," and "For Your Love" feel a little dated now, Yuro's performances inject them with enough passion to keep them sounding vital. Meanwhile, the country, soul, and rock-influenced tracks like the gently bittersweet "I Waited Too Long" (originally a hit for LaVern Baker) and the livelier "If You Gotta Make a Fool of Somebody," "Hallelujah, I Love Him So," and "Should I Ever Love Again" still have a lot to offer modern ears, even if they're not among her all-time best work. "That's Right, Walk On By," however, is one of Yuro's brightest moments, and her version of "Fever" remains striking in its simplicity. Admirably, What's a Matter Baby doesn't feature one song after another that sounds like the hit single it supports, and it comes closer to being a full-fledged album than the works of many of her contemporaries. [The 2004 RPM reissue also features four bonus tracks, including 1962's "The Love of a Boy" and "I Ain't Gonna Cry No More" and the following year's "If I Never Get to Love You" and "Insult to Injury."]

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