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Because of You

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Album Review

Darren is perhaps best-known as the actor who played Moondoggie in the original Gidget, and more recently the character of Vic Fontaine in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Concurrently with his acting career, he spent the '70s doing nightclubs in Vegas, Reno, and Tahoe and fairs around the country as a popular crooner. On this appealing collection featuring classic songs from various eras and shimmering, jazzy big-band arrangements by Patrick Williams, Darren follows in the footsteps of his idols Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett. Not surprisingly, he recorded the 14 tracks at the Capitol studios where Ol' Blue Eyes did some of his most famous work. Darren has an easy, Bennett-like voice — instantly likeable, rich, and emotionally resonant. So, with solid vocals and one of the best arrangers in the business, the only wild card would be choice of material — and it's spectacular. He opens with a perky take on Cole Porter's "Just One of Those Things," then digs into the catalogs of Leslie Bricusse (the playful "My Kind of Girl"), Oscar Levant ("Blame It on My Youth"), and, of course, joyful songs that Bennett popularized like "Because of You" and "Good Life." On the opposite side emotionally, he tackles "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" with a slight Brazilian-flavored arrangement. Darren also has a great time turning pop classics like "More Today Than Yesterday" and "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" into jazzy songs that sound like they were written a generation before they were. The set closes with a charming jazz trio take on "Dream a Little Dream of Me," which won't make you forget Mama Cass but is nevertheless engaging. Darren hardly crafts a crooning style of his own, preferring to go after the warm familiarity of his idols. Still, in its own way, Because of You is pretty irresistible.

Customer Reviews

Like a fine wine, James Darren just keeps getting better with age...

Like many, I was introduced to James Darren from his work on Star Trek: DS9 and his first album "This One's From The Heart." Like that album, "Because Of You" is an great collection of vocals that any standards fan would be happy to have in their collection. I only gave it four out of five stars simply because the actual song selection was not as strong as his first offering, but all are performed brilliantly. Since buying his albums I have had the opportunity to see James Darren perform in Las Vegas several times, and I must say that his talent surpasses that of Paul Anka and Tony Bennett as well as relative newcomer Michael Buble. The vocals are stunning, the arrangements are killer, why this artist extraordinaire isn't more beloved is a complete mystery to me. Mr. Darren... hit the studio, we're waiting for and wanting more! This album, as well as "This One's From The Heart" are both highly, HIGHLY recommended.

Beautiful music, incredible voice, is DS9 all over again.

Like many, I had the pleasure to be introduced to this exquisite voice during the Star Trek: Deep Space 9 era, I literally got "hooked" with this crooner, raspy voice, this album is almost like a continuation of the "This one's from the heart" album, I can easily picture Kira and Odo dancing to the "My Kind of Girl" tune - Take this from a middle aged 39 year old family dad: Buy this album, you won't be dissapointed!.


Born: June 8, 1936 in Philadelphia, PA

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Even more than the typical teen idol, James Darren's roots in authentic rock & roll were tenuous. Darren began recording for Colpix in the late '50s at the beginning of a screen career that saw him star in numerous films, most notably Gidget. More at home with standard MOR, show tune-like material than rock, and not much of a singer in any case, Darren was nonetheless marketed as a pop/rock performer to his predominantly young female constituency. He ran off quite a few novelty-tinged hit singles...
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Because of You, James Darren
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Customer Ratings