søndag 3. januar 2016

03012016 - Kenny Rogers "The Gambler"

Kenny Rogers is one of many artists more known for his songs than any of his albums. At least that's the case for me, so as far as I'm concerned this is how it is. "The Gambler" is, of course, not only one of his best songs, but his version is one of the best tunes in country music in general. So obviously I'm hoping for pure genius all the way through on this 1978 album. The title track opens the record, so the rest of the album is unchartered territory to me. "I Wish That I Could Hurt That Way Again" (What a title, right?) and "The King of Oak Street" are pretty damn good too, but the next couple of tracks don't do much for me, especially not "The Hoodooin' of Miss Fannie Deberry", an uptempo thing with some misguided funky stuff going on. Kenny "Funk" Rogers? I don't think so! "She Believes in Me", which opens my imaginary side 2 of the album is thankfully another ballad, and just the kind of song I want to hear from Rogers: brilliantly sappy, perfectly schmaltzy and with mucho emotion. "Sleep Tight, Goodnight Man" is nice too, although I have no idea what he's really singing about, but someone who ten years previously just dropped in to see what condition his condition was in is perfectly entitled to have conversations with The Sandman. The rest of the album is pleasant enough, apart from the horrible - wait for it - jazz funk (yeah, he went there!) excursions on closing tune "Morgana Lee", but there's nothing here at all that really lives up to the pure genius of "The Gambler" itself.

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