Claudine Longet – Colours (1968/2018) [FLAC 24bit/96kHz]

Claudine Longet – Colours (1968/2018)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 32:12 minutes | 692 MB | Genre: Pop
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © A&M Records

A funny thing happened to easy listening pop around 1968: many of the studio musicians in Los Angeles and New York got turned on to the same hip new sounds as everyone else, and for a brief period, the middle of the road got gently psychedelicized. This led to oddball goodies like the fragmentary, dreamlike The Secret Life of Harpers Bizarre, those weird records where Sebastian Cabot and William Shatner were intoning Bob Dylan like he was Shakespeare, and Claudine Longet’s Colours. Previously preferring Europop schmaltz like Paul Mauriat’s “Love Is Blue,” Longet stretches out to include two of Donovan’s early folky tunes, “Catch the Wind” and the title track, a delicate acoustic reading of Gordon Lightfoot’s “Pussywillows, Cat-Tails” that’s really quite lovely, and perhaps most surprisingly, a tender recasting of the Everly Brothers’ “Let It Be Me” with a coda featuring new French lyrics penned by Longet herself. Not everything works: the opening version of “Scarborough Fair/Canticle” doesn’t hint at the complexity of the harmonies of the Simon & Garfunkel original, and Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now” skates so dangerously close to tweeness by itself that the addition of Longet’s wispy little-girl vocals and prominent lisp sends it over the edge. Longet redeems herself at the album’s end, however, with a delicately mournful take on Randy Newman’s oft-recorded “I Think It’s Going to Rain Today” that features only the composer’s piano and Longet’s uncharacteristically self-assured vocals. Colours is certainly enjoyable on the shallow, kitschy “ha ha, look at this” level that most modern-day hipsters condescend to, but for true connoisseurs of the style, it’s probably Claudine Longet’s best album.

01. Scarborough Fair/Canticle
02. Pussywillows, Cat-Tails
03. Catch The Wind
04. Colours
05. For Bobbie (For Baby)
06. I Believed It All
07. Am I Blue?
08. Hurry On Down
09. Let It Be Me (Je T’Appartiens)
10. Both Sides Now
11. I Think It’s Gonna Rain Today

Claudine Longet – vocals
Ron Elliott – guitar
Lincoln Mayorga – keyboards
Randy Newman – piano
Bill Cunningham – fiddle
Lyle Ritz – bass
Jim Gordon – drums
Nick DeCaro – horns & strings arrangement