Aaron Neville: My True Story (Blue Note)

Aaron Neville: Be My Baby
Aaron Neville: My True Story (Blue Note)

Hmmm. Neville – whose high voice is most often described as angelic – on a selection of favourite doo-wop songs from the 50s/early 60s, and produced by Keith Richards and Don Was?

First question: Who does backing doo-wop vocals behind That Voice?

Fortunately it isn't guitarist Richards' throaty croak but members of some original doo-wop groups (the Jive-Five, Del-Vikings, Teenagers). Other players include guitarist Greg Leisz (Beck, Ryan Adams) and Petty Heartbreaker Benmont Tench on keyboards.

There are classics here (Ruby Baby, Be My Baby, Tears on My Pillow, Under the Boardwalk and so on) but enjoyable though this is (and it is), few stand comparison to the innocence and enthusiasm of the originals.

That light voice hardly brings anxious desperation to Ruby Baby, sexual yearning to Tin a Ling or raunch on Work With Me Annie.

So the best tracks are the atmospheric (Curtis Mayfield's Gypsy Woman), where the original is recast and a lifetime of experience is channeled (the title track and aching Be My Baby) or those with ethereal lift-off (This Magic Moment/True Love).

Classy (especially the closer Goodnight My Love), doubtless an award-winner but not always on the money.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section

Omar Carmenates: The Gaia Theory (Rattle)

Omar Carmenates: The Gaia Theory (Rattle)

At its most extreme interpretation (as some have joking applied it), the Giaia theory which contends all life on Earth is interconnected says if a butterfly flaps its wings in China there may be a... > Read more

Jack Landy: Lost and Found (independent release)

Jack Landy: Lost and Found (independent release)

If we were allowed to use big words like "peripatetic" here at Elsewhere we'd certainly use it about world traveler, musical itinerant, busker and on-the-road singer-songwriter Landy,... > Read more

New Elsewhere

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Otis Mace

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Otis Mace

You would have to have lived a very sheltered life in Auckland not to have encountered Otis Mace, the post-punk street singer-songwriter who has become something of a folk hero. In his time... > Read more

Screaming Dizbusters: This Ain't the Summer of Love (1986)

Screaming Dizbusters: This Ain't the Summer of Love (1986)

Elsewhere's been down this side alley before with songs from a terrific double CD compilation A Real Cool Time Revisited; Swedish Punk, Pop and Garage Rock 1982-1989. The album is only... > Read more