Monday, January 26, 2015

Bobby Darin - Commitment (1969)



1. Bobby Darin - 01. Me & Mr. Hohner
2. Sugar. Bobby Darin - Man
3. Bobby Darin - 03. Sausalito (The Governors Song)
4. Bobby Darin - 04. Song For A Dollar
5. Bobby Darin - 05. The Harvest
6. Bobby Darin - 06. Distractions (Part 1)
7. Bobby Darin - 07. Water Color Canvas
8. Bobby Darin - 08. Jive
9. Bobby Darin - 09. Hey Magic Man
10. Bobby Darin - 10. Light Blue



 Bobby Darin had done some folk-rock before this 1969 album, most notably on his hit cover of Tim Hardin's "If I Were a Carpenter." Commitment, however, was his most out-and-out folk-rock album, or at least his most folk-rockish album. That was apparent not only in the music (which Darin wrote in its entirety), but also in the packaging, with his billing changed to "Bob Darin," and a photo of the singer with a moustache and jean jacket on the back cover. It's a pity, therefore, that the album wasn't too good. The backup playing is only functional and perfunctory in a generic late-'60s folk-country-rock fashion, and the songs are neither too melodic nor too incisive in their lyrics, even as Darin was obviously striving for meaning. It's not strictly folk-rock. "Light Blue" has some period trippy lyrics and pseudo-sitar. "Hey Magic Man" has some orchestral, occasionally vaguely psychedelic embellishments, and is a little more memorable and pop-friendly than most of the other tunes. Certainly the influence of another "Bob," Bob Dylan, is to the fore, whether blatantly, as in the bluesy harmonica-driven "Mr. & Mrs. Hohner," or more subtly. Darin, it must be pointed out, was not a folk dilettante: he'd recorded some folk material throughout his career, and given big breaks to players like Roger McGuinn and Jesse Colin Young before their entrance into folk-rock. In spite of its consistent sound and vision, in the context of Darin's entire career it's a curiosity, and not something he did nearly as well as he did pop, rock & roll, swing jazz, or standards.


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