FRENZY is one of several excellent sets that offer a compelling entry point into the crazy musical world of Screamin' Jay Hawkins (another is the best-of collection, VOODOO JIVE). While it opens with his best-known song, "I Put a Spell on You," FRENZY makes it clear that Hawkins' interests stretched far and wide. The set includes punchy rhythm & blues pieces, nonsensical forays into the worlds of pop and rock, wild cabaret numbers, and tracks of faux-operatic mayhem.
The first four numbers give one the impression of Hawkins as a bluesy shouter, singing of demons and dark magic. But in steps "I Love Paris," and Hawkins is singing in front of an orchestra like a maniacal Broadway star. There's passion, invention, and plain-old entertainment fun in FRENZY. The 14 songs include a mix of originals and songs by everyone from Leiber & Stoller to Cole Porter. Yet it all comes out sounding like no one else in the world but Hawkins.