You Don't Know What You're in For

Harriet Schock

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You Don't Know What You're in For Review

by Charles Donovan

Schock's third and final album for 20th Century Records was overseen by a different producer, and the results are extremely lush and polished to a fault. The songs - nearly all exemplary - are swathed in very dense string arrangements. Mysteriously, nowhere is Schock credited as an instrumentalist. However, if the sound is too heavy-handed for some tastes, the songs (all written by Schock) more than compensate, being as deft, literate, and accessible as anything on the earlier albums. "He's So Macho" - a caustic send-up of the Lieber-Stoller hit "I'm A Woman" - is bursting with barbed observations: "Well he can knock off a case of beer/ Before you can count from one to three/ And he can have a ball all weekend long/ Without ever leaving his TV". "Keep Drivin' James" is a delightful, candid fan letter to James Taylor, in which a unabashedly giddy Schock confesses: "You've helped me keep survivin'/ And you don't even know my name". "Southern Belle" comes across as a less snide cousin of Joni Mitchell's "Shades of Scarlett Conquering." Other stand-outs include the melodramatic "Somebody Else," and the slyly threatening title track, with its clever, double-edged warning: "Love can be the prison as well as the crime". You Don't Know What You're In For is an excellent set - it's just puzzling that the production seems to be trying to cover up or conceal something. Songwriting of this standard doesn't need to be hidden behind so many layers.

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