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Elvis Presley’s “Something For Everybody” Reviewed

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As Elvis Australia noted, ‘His Latest Flame’, ‘Little Sister’, ‘Good Luck Charm’, and ‘Surrender’ were all recorded in the early 1960s, and all would have been a welcome addition to Presley’s summer of 1961 release, album number 13, Something For Everyone.

Something For Everyone went to number one in the charts but it remains an oddly cool affair. The slow ballads on the first side are really slow, the fast ones are movie Elvis style rockers, and the entire album is such a minor league affair you wonder what went wrong.

True, when dismissing a Presley album all the caveats bear returning: his voice is terrific, he seems not to care whether a song isn’t quite within his range. On a rocker like “I’m Going Home” is take is so expert that we could call it flow in 2016.

Actually, his flow from song to song has the ease of absolute self-confidence. There is nothing histrionic, no 2001 A Space Odyssey American Trilogy bigger than you’ll ever be Presley, rather this is elegantly understated slow to mid-tempo songs, when they swing, they sway when they reach for the hearstrings, they refrain from the big push, and as Presley album’s go, they remain true to his 1961 ethos, average songs with wonderful executions.

Recorded over two days, separated by five months, I think the greatest sweetness here is that it reminds you of time when Preley was a zen master pop musician. Much like the sax solo on “In Your Arms”, it is professional, brilliantly executed and light as a feather. There is nothing to prove and no one to prove it all.

In hindsight, you can’t help but wish Presley had insisted on better song selection. I realize Parker and Presley owned the licensing rights for these songs, but it doesn’t excuse their inferiority. For instance “I Slipped, I Stumbled, I Fell” is a disappointing rocker that stole a whole lot off “Stuck On You” but doesn’t reach take off. Nothing wrong with the performance, it is just the song.  I was writing about “Dangerous Woman”, the new Ariana Grande single, and the same applies here, they forgot the song.

They should have stuck “Wild In The Country” at the end…

Grade: B

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