Barb Jungr - Love Me Tender - The Singer

One could argue that there was always a darker side to The King, but the hips distracted you. Paring his greatest hits down to their bare essentials, as Barb Jungr has done in her latest CD from Linn records (Love Me Tender - AKD 255) reveals a collection of tracks heavy with potent lyrics, which have, up till now, been more familiar to us for their melodies (and the hips). The easiest approach is to slow the numbers down, and is perhaps the only thing to do, but this seems slightly overdone by arranger Adrian York. At first listen you have the feeling you are listening to some bizarre horror movie soundtrack. On second listen, however, the ‘Elvis versions' in your head, which are no doubt the cause of this unsettlement, fade, and Jungr pretty much takes over. A tall order to achieve this, but naturally Jungr is the one to do it. And there is a feel to the whole album that renders multiple listenings possible, so that the achievement is more than just rearrangement for rearrangement's sake. Some numbers are wonderfully quirky, such as ‘Wooden Heart', and ‘Are You Lonesome Tonight?' is haunting to the point of almost becoming an invocation of the spirit of The King himself.

The Singer
01 June 2005