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Looking Through the Eyes of Love

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Album Review

As other pop artists began to pursue new styles of pop in the wake of the Beatles and the Byrds, Gene Pitney continued to blend pre-rock romantic sentiment and orchestral pop/rock grandeur on 1965's Looking Through the Eyes of Love. It produced a pair of notable pop chart hits with the title track and "I Must Be Seeing Things": the former is a tale of redemption through love that Pitney wrings for every last drop of operatic drama he can muster while the latter is a tale of romantic betrayal that uses an elegant orchestral backing to highlight Pitney's pained vocal delivery. Looking Thru the Eyes of Love also included a British Top Ten hit in "Just One Smile," an early Randy Newman tune that allowed Pitney to explore the extent of his dramatic range with its tale of the giddy highs and painful lows of a love affair. Other highlights include "Save Your Love," which employs a blend of shivery strings and carefully deployed choral backing vocals to build its atmospheric tale of romantic longing, and "Don't Take Candy From a Stranger," an odd but interesting pop tune that pairs paranoid lyrics about the danger of seductive strangers with a beat-heavy backing dominated by a strange, buzzing keyboard sound. The album's other songs lack the standout hooks of the aforementioned highlights but are all stylishly crafted and sung with conviction by Pitney. The result is an appealing album that probably won't win over an uninitiated listener but offers plenty of delights for someone already in tune with Pitney's operatic-pop style. ~ Donald A. Guarisco, Rovi

Biography

Born: February 17, 1941 in Hartford, CT

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

One of the most interesting and difficult-to-categorize singers in '60s pop, Gene Pitney had a long run of hits distinguished by his pained, one-of-a-kind melodramatic wail. Pitney is sometimes characterized (or dismissed) as a shallow teen idol-type prone to operatic ballads. It's true that some of his biggest hits -- "Town Without Pity," "Only Love Can Break a Heart," "I'm Gonna Be Strong," "It Hurts to Be in Love," and "Twenty Four Hours From Tulsa" -- are archetypes of adolescent or just-post-adolescent...
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Looking Through the Eyes of Love, Gene Pitney
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