Petula Clark Lost in You
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- Released: April 2, 2013
- Label: The End Records
- 1.Cut Copy Me
- 2.Lost in You
- 4.Never Enough
- 5.Downtown [New Version]
- 6.Next to You
- 8.He Loves and She Loves
- 9.Every Word You Say
- 11.Love Me Tender
- 12.I Won't Care
Audio Mixer: Steve Evans .
Recording information: Evansson Audio Media; Strange Fruit, Bath.; The Hut, North Kensington.
Petula Clark hadn't made a studio album featuring original compositions since the mid-70s when Lost in You was released in early 2013. Amazingly, it came 57 years after her 1957 debut album. Almost as amazingly, the 80-year-old Clark's voice has held up remarkably well, and throughout most of the album's 12 songs she sounds strong and soulful with only the occasional bit of studio trickery used to help her out. Working with producer John Williams, she's crafted an album that relies on a few covers (an MOR country take on Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy," an earnest version of "Imagine") and a batch of newly written songs that feature Clark looking back over a long life in music ("Reflections"), lamenting lost love ("Next to You"), and looking for new love (the country-rocking "Never Enough"). Apart from her voice being so strong and soulful (check out her pleading tones on "Lost in You" if you doubt that even a little), there are two big surprises on the album. First is the slowed-down and elegiac version of her biggest hit, "Downtown"; second is the opening track on the album, "Cut Copy Me." An insistent late-night ballad that blends acoustic guitars and swooning strings with Clark's Auto-Tuned voice and some icy synths, it's the kind of sad and pretty song Saint Etienne would kill for. It also serves notice that Lost in You isn't a nostalgic exercise for Clark; she's fully up to date. It's a quiet triumph of a song that stands as an equal to her best work from the past. There are a couple of missteps (the thin-sounding cover of the Gershwin standard "He Loves and She Loves," the overwrought take on Elvis' "Love Me Tender") and one can't help but wish at times that she had chosen to work with a producer who was a little more sonically adventurous than Williams; he's stuck firmly in the middle of the road and while that fits some of the songs, it would have been interesting to hear what Air, for example, would have done with the sound. Wishes aside, Lost in You is an impressive achievement that shows Clark is still alive and kicking, and stands as a reminder that she is one of the great vocalists of her era. ~ Tim Sendra
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