Monday, January 20, 2014

Various Artists - Calvert DeForest's Erotic Experience (CD, 1999)

Various Artists
"Calvert DeForest's Erotic Experience"
Mars #44007 [1999]

This CD, a Various Artist compilation of vintage Lounge music, was released toward the end of the Space Age Bachelor Pad bubble. It did, however, come out the same year that Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me hit the box office. The songs that make up this album actually seem to be more inspired by the Austin Powers franchise and a revival of the Swingin' Sixties in the classic Mod/Rocker style.

While the contents presented here consist of a mixture between fairly well-known singles and much lesser-known obscurities, it is, as a whole, distinctive. Part of this has to do with the presence of several neo-Lounge acts (Tipsy and Combustible Edison), mostly because, in general, they have rarely been pared up with mid-century recordings (at least in the realm of professional reissues). Another aspect of its distinctiveness is the fact that the tracks chosen for this release, as a whole, haven't shown up on very many other compilation CD's from the same period or since. The listener, therefore, would most likely be getting something uncommon and fresh.

Now, let's talk about the "look and feel," since that usually says more about the character of an album than the contents alone. Truthfully, I have not been particularly impressed by this -- and I've listened to it a decent number of times over the years. Throughout the runtime of this album, the vibe that I get feels kind of like a sleazy "has-been" Vegas lounge singer; overly-moussed hair, rhinestones and all. While the cover art further intensifies this feeling, it also lends itself to probability that it's not really meant to be taken seriously. Despite the obvious camp quirkiness and tongue-in-cheek characteristics of the album cover, as well as the inclusion of Austin Powers' theme song ("Soul Bossa Nova" by Quincy Jones) and the really crappy DeForest original ("Tequila"), this irony only has so much appeal, at least to me. What ends up happening is that warmth of sound and emotion are traded for humor, and I would have preferred warmth.

Still, this album is not terrible. As a whole, it's OK -- but that's about it. I'm not saying you shouldn't enjoy it, own it, or recommend it, because it's an OK release. Personally, it's a permanent part of my collection, because sometimes it's fun to hear a song or two from it. But it's still only OK.

Track list:
  1. Tipsy - Mr. Excitement
  2. Combustible Edison - Laura's Aura
  3. Quincy Jones - Soul Bossa Nova
  4. Dusty Springfield - The Look Of Love
  5. The Bob Crewe Generation - Music To Watch Girls By
  6. Henry Mancini - Peter Gunn
  7. Michel Legrand - A Man's Castle
  8. Barbara Acklin - Quiet Nights Of Quiet Stars
  9. Count Basie - Green Onions
  10. Arthur Lyman - The Shadow Of Your Smile
  11. Dick Jacobs - Saturday Music
  12. Gene Chandler - This Guy's In Love With You
  13. Young-Holt Unlimited - Light My Fire
  14. Calvert And The Craftmatics - Tequila

1 comment:

  1. Whaddaya think? Yes! And? Where is link?


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