I Like Men! (Jpn)



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    I Like Men! (Jpn) EMI

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Review Text Peggy Lee and arranger/conductor Jack Marshall's concept for the album I Like Men! is embodied in the title and in the title song that the two wrote together. The songs, from the annals of Tin Pan Alley and Broadway, specify several particular men: "Charley, My Boy," "Good for Nothing Joe," "I'm Just Wild About Harry," "Bill," "Jim," and "Oh Johnny, Oh Johnny, Oh!" But sometimes Lee objectifies the object of her affection as simply male: "When a Woman Loves a Man," "My Man," "It's So Nice to Have a Man Around the House." And sometimes she generalizes even further by simply paying tribute to romance: "I Love to Love," "So in Love." The sentiments, if ever faithful, vary from friskiness to attachment and even outright slavery ("My Man," popularized in the U.S. by Fanny Brice, may be the ultimate torch song, though somehow it remains light in Lee's rendition). Sometimes, the man is not particularly accomplished ("Good-for-Nothin' Joe") or attractive ("Bill," "Oh Johnny! Oh Johnny! Oh!"). It doesn't seem to matter. Lee, as stated up-front, likes men. Marshall seems to like musicians, and he employs a lot of them, giving each song a different setting and instrumentation, from lush strings to small jazz ensembles. Lee is her usual buoyant self throughout, and even if the concept is really just another excuse to put together an album of standards, it gives her fans the opportunity to hear her sing them. ~ William Ruhlmann

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