Nellie McKay – Normal as Blueberry Pie

January 01, 1970

(Verve)

 

www.vervemusicgroup.com

 

For
her fourth album, this former Broadway star turns away from her own
considerable songwriting talents to pay tribute to another woman who crossed
over entertainment fields: singing star turned film star Doris Day whose
recording career ran from the ’40s through the ’60s.  While a project like this could have easily
stunk up the place with slavish sentimentalism, McKay wisely steers clear of
this by simply having fun without modernizing the material, instead immersing
herself in a grand revival. 

 

It
also helps that instead of just picking Day’s best-known hits (“Que Sera
Sera,” “Day After Day,” “Secret Love”), she plumbs
lesser-known but worthy material by Rogers/Hammerstein, Mercer and
Bacharach/David.  So while her take on
the classic “Sentimental Journey” adds little to the better-known
original, McKay finds lovely, dreamy modes (“Meditation,” “I
Remember You”), sensual lounge (“Close Your Eyes,” “Mean to
Me”), jazzy cabaret (“Crazy Rhythm,” not Feelies related) and
finger-popping swing (“Dig It”). A weird diversion perhaps, but Harry
Connick Jr. could learn a lot from this enjoyable romp.

 

Standout Tracks: “Dig It,”
“Crazy Rhythm” JASON GROSS

 

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