Wednesday , April 17 2024
A minor gem in the late legend's storied career.

Music Review: Peggy Lee – Let’s Love

Let's Love is a 1974 album by Peggy Lee that has been recently reissued by Collector's Choice Music. Although it was primarily produced by Grammy and Academy Award winning composer Dave Grusin, the title track was a contribution from Paul McCartney. McCartney wrote and produced the tune for Lee, playing the piano part himself. The rather somber ballad, delicately sung by Lee, would've fit comfortably on any of McCartney's own albums from that period. Its presence adds to the collectability of Let's Love, making it essential for completists of either artist.

Obviously a one-off collaboration of such star power is bound to attract significant attention. Collector's Choice has even emphasized McCartney's participation with a great back cover shot of he and Lee together. But that's not to suggest that the album suffers from a lack of interesting material. This was a conscious attempt to take a more modern-sounding approach with Lee, whose career began in the 1940s. As the excellent liner notes point out, McCartney's song is among the most old-fashioned numbers on the record.

Irving Berlin's classic "Always" is updated as a light funk/pop number. Also grooving along smoothly are "Easy Evil" and "Sweet Talk." No one will mistake any of this for P-Funk by any means. These tracks are basically "easy listening funk," if there ever was such a thing. But they make a nice contrast to the more traditional fare, like Henry Mancini's slow and gentle "Sometimes." The album is relatively varied stylistically, with the one constant being Lee's wonderfully nuanced vocals.

James Taylor's "Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight" gets a moody, laid-back treatment. Evoking the feel of a nearly empty nightclub just prior to closing time, it's a standout track. Another high point is the gospel-tinged sunniness of "Sweet Lov'liness." And lest anyone forget that she was a songwriter as well, "The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter" sets Lee's own lyrics to a delicate Grusin melody. It's a tender and tastefully produced heartbreaker. 

Let's Love is a minor work in the career of a legendary artist, but thankfully it is now readily available as a crisply remastered reissue.

About The Other Chad

An old co-worker of mine thought my name was Chad. Since we had two Chads working there at the time, I was "The Other Chad."

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