Key Largo

by: Bertie Higgins

Collectables' 2003 release Key Largo appears to be a standard Bertie Higgins collection, similar to Collectables' 1996 Golden Classics collection, particularly because it has his big hit, "Key Largo," and is adorned with photos from his 1982 soft rock classic, Just Another Day in Paradise. That's not the case. It's an album about Higgins' first favorite theme, the tropics (the second, of course, being Humphrey Bogart movies), containing some original versions, some re-recordings, some new recordings, and some covers. Of the big Just Another Day in Paradise songs, only "Key Largo" is in its original version; the title track and "Casablanca" are re-recorded, likely in the late '80s/early '90s. The new songs, including covers of the Beach Boys' "Kokomo" and Jimmy Buffett's "Margaritaville," sound of recent vintage and while they're a little too cleanly produced, they're enjoyable, as is the rest of the record, providing that you go in not expecting a hits collection. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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