Album #130 – Scott 2

Album #130

This is the second solo album from Noel Scott Engel a.k.a. Scott Walker. Engel was in a group called The Walker Brothers. They were not brothers but decided to call themselves that as a nod to the British Invasion and American show business. Engel also mastered the electric bass long before many other pop and rock musicians and his electric bass playing is prominent on this album. While Engel is American, his group The Walker Brothers had great success in England and did not do well in his native America. The arrangements on this album sound similar to some of The Walker Brothers’ early British hits. Engel wrote four of the albums’ tracks and he tries to write these songs to sound like songs French singers or Sinatra would sing. I admire the fact that Engel covers a couple of Jacques Brel songs. Those songs sound very vulgar but are probably just translated from French. Brel probably sang those same words. One of the Brel songs that Engel covered was banned by the BBC. Jackie, the albums’ phenomenal opening track was banned because of drug references and dirty lyrics. I assure you Brel does not say anything more than ass and hell in a few of the songs. Back then, those words were not welcome on top 40 radio or the BBC. Engel’s voice is beautiful. He reminds me of Andy Williams. His voice is very similar and captures the emotion of the songs he was singing. He was a great interpreter of these songs. This album is a must listen. I loved every song and Engel’s booming voice added to the beautiful songs. While the wikipedia article on this album categorizes this album as baroque pop, I would disagree. This album is a cross between French chanson, Easy Listening and Standards. There are some baroque pop elements in there but this album is nothing like the baroque pop of The Beach Boys and tomorrow’s artist, The Zombies. Overall, I give this album 5 out of 5.

Next: Odessey and Oracle by The Zombies

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