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Just Imagine...

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Album Review

Karen Akers relates the song choices on her fourth album, Just Imagine..., to her marriage to Kevin Power, which occurred only three months before the recording sessions. Thus, the material is, if anything, even more tilted toward the romantic than usual. But that is not to say that the emotional range and subject matter are limited. Rather, different aspects of a loving relationship are examined, for example in "Ain't Misbehavin'" and "I'd Rather Be Blue," both of which discuss aspects of life apart from the object of one's affection, an experience from which Akers frequently suffers, as she is quick to point out in her liner notes. Her medley of Barry Manilow's "I Am Your Child" and the Beatles' "She's Leaving Home," meanwhile, explores the difficulties of the love between parents and children. And Bill Russell and Janet Hood's "Angels, Punks and Raging Queens" is an affectionate look back at the pre-AIDS days of gay cabaret life in Greenwich Village in the '70s. Michael Abene, Akers' usual pianist/arranger, is spelled on six tracks by Mike Renzi, but the accompaniments are her usual tasteful, unobtrusive ones, with Andy Drelles adding his individual reed parts, John Loehrke a restrained bass, and Jim Saporito discreet percussion. The focus remains on Akers' voice and precise, considered phrasing, making for another excellent album from this top nightclub entertainer.


Born: New York, NY

Genre: Vocal

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

Cabaret singer and actress Karen Akers was born Karen Orth-Pallavicini in New York City on October 13, 1945. Her ancestry was a mixture of European stock: her immigrant father, a member of the European nobility who dropped his title when he came to America, was of Austrian and Swiss/Italian heritage; her American-born mother had Russian, Norwegian, and French forebears on one side of her family and Scots-Irish ones on the other. Akers initially aspired to be a folksinger in the 1960s, but she also...
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Just Imagine..., Karen Akers
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