Donny Osmond - Love Songs Of the 70's
Here's a startling fact - this is Donny Osmond's fifty-fifth album. A staggering fifty-four albums precede this collection. Some people don't even own that many albums. Despite starring in musical theatre, hosting TV shows and even driving a racing car, Donny shows no sign of hanging up his cheesy grin and retiring. This album brings together the tracks he deems the best love songs of the seventies, and you may be surprised to hear that this isn't actually that bad a collection.
Sure, we have a bunch of songs so sugary sweet they should come with a cholesterol warning. They are full of sentiment, and no real attempt has been made to update them or give them a contemporary feel. Instead, they are performed with consummate ease, delivered with rich arrangements and a rather delicious vocal.
It also features what for a weird reason is a particular favourite of mine (mainly because it was a favourite of my father) - Gilbert O'Sullivans's frankly bizarre Alone Again, Naturally, its surprisingly dark and intricate lyrics hinting at loss, the existence of God, and ultimately suicide. The lyrics concerning the death of narrator’s parents are particularly moving, as he attempts to piece together the logic of their demise. It used to haunt me as a child and is the type of song you could write essays over. Whilst the vocal here does not match the raw tenderness of O'Sullivan, it does not detract from a wonderful song. Sounding equally impressing is How Long, the Paul Carrick song. I always imagine the first line is being sung through an open bedroom door as you discover your wife rampantly betraying you, and whilst it sounds a little odd uttered by Donny it is a pretty good performance.
Sometimes the sugary taste gets a little bit too rich for my liking, particularly on You Are So Beautiful and How Deep Is Your Love, but on the whole this is a light and happy album of mostly good songs. Its one for the mothers day crowd, but for once something slightly better than the norm.