Anyone who's suffered through the sound quality of Collectables Records' Golden Classics should seriously consider Ace's collection as an alternative. The Meadowlarks' best work on Dootone, RPM, and Original Sound are all represented. The sound isn't perfect, but it is very, very good, and all of the songs from Golden Classics are here, along with ten more that are just as good. This CD covers a wide range: hauntingly ethereal slow ballads such as "Heaven And Paradise," "Untrue," and "Devil or Angel" (the latter previously unreleased); upbeat dance numbers like "Love Only You," "Oop Boopy Oop," and "Boogie Woogie Teenage"; and rip-roaring rockers like "I Got Tore Up," all of them impressive in their vocal dexterity. Perhaps the best track here is "Blue Moon," a reverent yet bluesy harmony rendition that might've charmed even Richard Rodgers. Some of the stuff leans toward conventionality, such as "Doin' the Cha Cha," but even it is so surprising in its sultry vocalizing, that's it's well worth the three-minute digression. On the other end of the spectrum is the endlessly witty, comical "Embarrassing Moments," the epitome of teenage libido in action. The moody "L.F.M.S.T. Blues" and the presence of some highly detailed annotation kind of seal the deal; this is the CD to get on the Meadowlarks. ~ Bruce Eder
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