This is a superb collection comprised of Billie Davis' singles for England's Decca Records, most of them dating between 1967 and 1970 (with four tracks from her 1963 stint with the label), and augmented with a handful of tracks from her self-titled 1970 album. It's all superb girl group-style pop, with a distinctly American, soulful edge and even an occasional psychedelic intrusion, highlighted by her spirited rendition of "I Want You to Be My Baby" and her impassioned version of "Wasn't It You," among other tracks. There's not a loser in the bunch and, in fact, the songs all show an amazing consistency despite origins as different as Joe Cocker, Carole King, Ian Anderson (yes, she covered "Living in the Past"), and Neil Diamond. Strangely enough, the appending of the four early Decca sides at the end of the CD is sort of jarring, throwing listeners back to an earlier (though still eminently enjoyable) era of British pop/rock. The sound is excellent throughout and the CD comes with an excellent career overview on Davis.
"With the title track, Ben Sidran delivers one of the most insightful songs in a career full of them; in it, he rearranges the paradigm to suggest how we might buck up against situations that seem hopeless. His timing couldn't be better. His stylistic mentor, the late Mose Allison, would be proud." - Neil Tesser, Grammy winning author and Host of the syndicated program 'Jazz With Neil Tesser'. PICTURE HIM HAPPY is a response to the saying that our music is made by and for people who have chosen to feel good in spite of conditions: you often can’t affect what happens but you can determine how you respond to it. It’s a record that’s right on time.
It’s hard to be ambivalent about Zooey Deschanel. She’s a polarizing personality, one whose deadpan movie roles and big Bambi eyes are either charming or too cute for their own good. The same can be said for She & Him, a soft rock duo that features Deschanel doing what she does best as a film star: acting utterly adorable alongside a quiet, talented male character. Her co-star in this case is M. Ward, who produces the band's second album and frames Deschanel’s voice with a Spector-sized pile of instruments. Those who already take issue with Zooey’s acting will almost surely pick this record apart – it’s too reminiscent of her cutesy turns in movies like (500) Days of Summer to change many minds – but for fans of retro pop (and Deschanel in general), Volume 2 is a gem. Whether they’re copping the Brill Building sound or resurrecting ‘70s beach-pop, She & Him always seem to have nostalgia on the mind.
Reissue with the latest 24-bit remastering. Features original cover artwork. Comes with a descripton in Japanese. A Tokyo native born in 1957, Toshiyuki Honda is a professional saxophonist, composer, arranger, and producer. In 1978 he released his first album as a leader, "Burnin' Wave," while still a university student. As one of Japan's best-known saxophonists, Honda has since recorded with a host of world-celebrated musicians including Chick Corea, Freddie Hubbard, and Christopher Cross among others. Honda is also widely known for his versatile skills as a composer and arranger of scores for TV dramas, commercials, movies, and classical music genres.