Personnel: Trini Lopez (vocals).
Recording information: Pye Studios, London, England.
Arranger: Don Costa.
As the liner notes say, "Trini Lopez and London go together like mini skirts and birds!" Who could argue with that? After all, the writer also informs listeners that Lopez is "at the center of the whole swingin' world!" Well, at least the album definitely does swing. In fact, each track seems specifically designed to induce wild fits of head-bobbing and crazy dancing of the sort seen in the opening scenes of the first Austin Powers movie. Though the energy level here isn't quite up to par with his famous live albums, there's a lot to like on Trini Lopez in London. The material is first-rate, though often a bit predictable ("Strangers in the Night," "Fever," "It Had to Be You") and Lopez delivers charismatic performances on every track. His backing musicians keep up with him admirably too. A few times, though, one gets the impression he's going through the motions, applying his patented groovy-izer in the same manner to whatever tune producer Don Costa throws his way. That said, there is one revelation here: Lopez's sensitive treatment of the Rolling Stones' Aftermath classic, "Lady Jane." Finding the perfect balance between his usual public hipster number one style and the melancholy romanticism of the original, the singer manages to sing the lyrics with the seriousness they deserve, yet sounds completely like himself. The result is pretty amazing and makes one wonder what magic Trini Lopez could have performed had he been unleashed on an album full of Tim Hardin or Joni Mitchell tunes. Though Trini Lopez in London often suffers from cookie-cutter syndrome, in the end Lopez's clarity of voice and seeming lack of pretense make him a joy to hear even at his most banal. ~ Pemberton Roach