POP CULTURE CLASSICS
by Paul Freeman
LINDA PURL – “TAKING A CHANCE ON LOVE”
This Purl is obviously a well polished performer. But the luster doesn’t hide the genuine embraceable new album, “Taking a Chance on Love.”
A gifted actress (“Matlock,” “The Office,” and numerous TV movies) Purl finds the true meaning of every lyric and conveys it with intelligence and sensitivity. Her honeyed, resonant voice and intuitive phrasing make each track a rare, intimate pleasure.
Blossom Dearie did a fabulous version of “Try Your Wings” in the 50s. But Purl makes it her own. Likewise with “Taking a Chance on Love,” which dates back to 1940 and has been covered by innumerable pop and jazz artists since then. Purl gives it a lovely lightness, like a spring breeze. Her singing is supple, soft, sensuous and plaintive on “Too Late Now,” “Darn That Dream” and “Throw It Away.”
Purl swings silkily on the ebullient “Lucky Day/”Shooting High” and “You Fascinate Me So.” She brings a warmth and sense of gentle wonder to her teaming of “Pure Imagination” and “Never Never Land.” Other standout performances come on “I Have Dreamed,” “And We Will Fly”/Come Fly With Me,” “Try Your Wings,” and Billy Joel’s “Lullaby (Goodnight, My Angel).”
Whether she’s expressing passion, hope, yearning or wistfulness, Purl proves to be utterly convincing… and completely captivating.