Don't Explain

by: Robert Palmer

Robert Palmer's second EMI album, which turned out to be a sales disappointment, seems to combine two different musical concepts in its 18 tracks. The first is a straightforward, rhythm-heavy Robert Palmer rock album that takes up about the first half of the record. The second is a soundtrack for a planned musical that a Palmer bio describes as "a futuristic comedy using telling songs from the '40s to the present day," some produced by jazzman Teo Macero. These include songs like Bob Dylan's "I'll Be Your Baby Tonight" (done reggae style), Marvin Gaye's "Mercy Mercy Me" and "I Want You," and Rodgers & Hammerstein's "People Will Say We're in Love." The idea looks forward to Palmer's next album, Ridin' High, which is comprised entirely of standards, but the mixture of rhythm tracks and string-filled arrangements here makes for a confusing mixture. ~ William Ruhlmann

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