Me About You

by: Jackie DeShannon

Jackie DeShannon's Me About You was recorded during a transitional period in the talented singer/songwriter's career; in 1968, she was moving on from the bright, radio-friendly pop of "When You Walk in the Room," but it would be a while before the more mature tone of "What The World Needs Now" and "Put a Little Love in Your Heart" achieved commercial success. Me About You may not have made much of an impression on the charts, but it was a strong, ambitious, and beautifully crafted album that anticipated the emotionally honest and confessional tone that would come into vogue for female artists in the '70s. DeShannon only wrote three songs for Me About You, but "Nicole," "Splendor in the Grass," and "I Keep Wanting You" (the latter written in collaboration with Jack Nitzsche, who also arranged the recording) are all fine compositions which sound sophisticated without sinking into pretension, and elsewhere she graces songs by Jimmy Webb ("The Girls' Song"), Van Dyke Parks ("High Coin"), and Tim Hardin ("Baby Close Its Eyes") with her lovely voice and dramatic but intelligent phrasing. A product of the Golden Age of West Coast record production, Me About You's sound was conceived and executed on a grand scale, but the dynamics never compromise DeShannon's vocals, and the layers of instruments combine to create an aural tapestry that gives shape and color to the melodies rather than weighing them down. Me About You can be seen as a stylistic precursor to DeShannon's outstanding Laurel Canyon, which appeared later the same year, and if there's a bit more Brill Building gloss on this set, it reflects the same sort of intelligence and vision, and it's an overlooked jewel in DeShannon's catalog. ~ Mark Deming

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