The thing about Burt Bacharach's own versions of his songs, the best of which he wrote with co-composer Hal David, is that Bacharach seems to think he's in a lounge playing background music for people as they dine, trying carefully not to intrude on anyone's conversation, and his songs are way too good, vibrant, and breezy to be served like that. The best way to really get these songs is in their cover versions, starting, of course, with Dionne Warwick's marvelous interpretations. That said, even with Bacharach smoothing things to the edge of blandness here with his own renditions of songs like "The Look of Love," "What the World Needs Now Is Love," "Make It Easy on Yourself," and "I Say a Little Prayer," the lilting melodies of these songs still come through. Mostly instrumental (Bacharach does sing on occasion here, and sometimes it's good that he does and sometimes it isn't), the tracks in this collection are pleasant to the point of actually vanishing into the wallpaper. Even so, the songs are still tentatively beautiful. ~ Steve Leggett
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