Burt Bacharach and Ronald Isley – Here I Am: Isley meets Bacharach
Burt Bacharach and Ronald Isley
Here I Am: Isley meets Bacharach
(Dreamworks – 2003)
by Matthew Robinson
Though two wrongs may not make a right, two smoothes apparently do make a smooth. Or so it would seem with this latest duet set from timeless songwriter Burt Bacharach. In teaming up with Soul Brother Ronald Isley, Bacharach brings new shadings to his classic compositions. On the theme to “Alfie,” Isley’s broad range enhances Bacharach’s signature strings. Dust-ing off “The Look of Love,” Isley brings gentle syncopation to Springfield’s classic hit.
He adds a bit of Southern twang to “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head” and even makes The Carpenters’ chestnut “Close to You” seem cool again! And though Bacharach’s own voice may fail on “Windows of the World,” the cracked pain of the song is lifted up to heaven by Isley’s soaring choruses. More than another duets album, “Here I Am” is a reminder of what songcraft can be and what can happen when two legends combine forces in the name of music.
© 2004, M. S. Robinson, ARR