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Feelings - Greatest Hits

Morris Albert

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Album Review

"Feelings" was the monster easy listening song of 1975, not hitting number one as "Love Will Keep Us Together" did that year for Captain & Tenille, but becoming a standard ballad that spawned close to 300 cover versions (shades of Paul McCartney's "Yesterday" and Bobby Hebb's "Sunny"!). The Feelings album is spotty, and that was the enigma of Morris Albert. Side A concludes with the wonderfully dramatic "Falling Tears," a better-than-good production, preceded by lesser songs like "This World Today Is a Mess" and the latter-day Bob Lind that is the opening track, "Woman." The balladeer as folksinger didn't cut it, and it was equally clear that Albert was best with his sincere lovelorn vocal and deep production, and when he put the Barry Manilow-style excesses aside. Albert should have been the South American Manilow and, believe it or not, there is a track on the disc that is superior to the hit title song. The follow-up single, "Sweet Loving Man," is a sweeping pop sensation that got moderate adult contemporary airplay, but may have been hindered by the Kinks/"Lola"-style double entendre: "Call me, let me hear your lips say, you're my sweet loving man." It should have been a smash in the gay bars to hear a man say "you're my sweet loving man," but women might've just passed it off as a guy asking them to say those words, which may have been the original intent. Albert's excellent grasp of the English language makes one wonder, for he certainly knew what ambiguity could do to enhance (or halt) record sales. Where many radio listeners got to the point where they didn't want to hear "feelings, woh woh woh, feelings" one more time, "Sweet Loving Man" has the '70s uplifting pop sound of Ronnie Milsap or Neil Sedaka, sadly missing on "Ways of Fire/Boombanakaoo," the weak production taking away from a style and sound that Madonna found with "La Isla Bonita" 12 years later. She keyed in on perfect production, and that's what is missing on some of these tracks, while showing up on others. There may have been songwriting controversy with the song "Feelings" as well: Shirley Bassey's album credits the song to Albert/Gaste, while other covers credit it to Albert/Jourdan and Albert/Kaisermann (the singer's full name is Morris Albert Kaisermann). "Where Is the Love of the World" lifts liberally from Bobby Vinton's "Blue Velvet," the backing vocals an almost exact rip. "Christine" is not a bad little pop tune, and "Gotta Go Home" could have been a neat country ditty, though both songs suffer from underproduction. The final track, "Gonna Love You More," like the other three excellent titles — "Falling Tears," "Feelings," and "Sweet Loving Man" — — is in-the-pocket middle of the road, and well worth the price of admission. Had Morris Albert been able to deliver solid albums the caliber of those lush recordings, he could have been an adult contemporary superstar instead of a one-hit wonder.

Feelings - Greatest Hits, Morris Albert
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