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Sedaka's Back
Neil Sedaka

Rocket MCA 463
Released: November 1974
Chart Peak: #23
Weeks Charted: 62
Certified Gold: 11/11/75

Neil SedakaThis is the year for the return of veteran popsters, and while I wish we had been spared Paul Anka and Bobby Vinton, Neil Sedaka is welcome back any old time (and so are Del Shannon, Roy Orbison and Gene Pitney, who ought to come next). Sedaka's big hits between 1958 and 1963 were commercial, well-crafted records that stand up extremely well.

Neil Sedaka - Sedaka's Back
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Today his singing has lost its shrill edge and sounds better than ever, the backing by L.A. session luminaries and 10 c.c. is tasteful, and he again proves himself a highly skilled, sophisticated songwriter, both lyrically and melodically.

Some of the material sounds too bland, in the way that Carole King's weaker material does. But the good songs are a fascinatingly varied lot, from the affecting, straight MOR "Solitaire" to the Fifties-styled raver, "A Little Lovin'." "Standing on the Inside" has a terrific chorus, "Little Brother" is quite infectious and "Our Last Song Together" is a lovely closer. "Laughter in the Rain" isn't a personal favorite but I'm glad it's a hit, because it assures Sedaka the wide audience that his imaginative pop creations deserve.

- Ken Barnes, Rolling Stone, 1/2/75.

Bonus Review!

In which a self-admitted mean old man approximates a cross between the young Paul Anka and the post-Bennington Reparata and the Delrons, only his voice is higher and his lyrics more considered. The whole first side, ending with the cheerfully perverse "Little Brother," is perfect pop moderne, and that's not where you'll find my own pick hit, the cheerfully normal "Love Will Keep Us Together." B+

- Robert Christgau, Christgau's Record Guide, 1981.

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