The singer who offers a fresh style, a new sound, and genuine feeling is eagerly welcomed by the listening public. When the recordings of Ben E. King became giant-size hits, it was obvious that his warm, insinuating voice had earned unreserved approval. Beginning with Spanish Harlem (MOVLP1407), his records quickly established a sweet pattern of success. Stand By Me, Amor and Don’t Play That Song followed, and their wide acceptance guaranteed a secure position on the public’s list of favorite singers.
Ben E. King reaches so deeply into the emotions of a song it is hard to imagine, for the moment, that he could sing anything else as well. This is only an illusion because it occurs in turn with each of the twelve selections in the album. The superb matching of material and voice is partly respon-sible for this phenomenon. But more important are Ben E King’s sensitive understanding of the content of the song and the effectiveness with which he employs his skillful musicianship.
Throughout the album, the songs that Ben E. King sings are preoccu-pied with the joys, the sorrows, the need for love. Memories are sharpened when he sings feelingfully about familiar experiences. From the First Taste Of Love to Ecstasy, he relates the uneven course of love with taste and tenderness.
Everyone will find his own favorites in this set of songs, as each has its own personal flavor. Though the title of the album suggests otherwise, it is certain that it was not intended for anything that Ben E. King sings here. BOB ALTSHULER