PJ PROBY: Legend
EMI premier PRMDCD 27
Friday 28 March 1997
The album opens with due ceremony, courtesy of a roll of timpani and a suitably grandiloquent overture, before the prancing techno twitch of "I'm Coming Back" heralds PJ's perhaps ill-advised new disco direction; but a heartfelt duet with Almond on the old Cupid's Inspiration hit "Yesterday Has Gone" puts things firmly back on course, while St Etienne's ensuing piano blues "Pain in My Heart" gives him the chance to show his more gentle, soulful side. Proby's classic pop-operatic style lends itself well to camp exercises like "Devil in Red Velvet" - "I'm the satin assassin! The killer in chinchilla!" - and though he's still prey to fulsome Presleyising on tracks like "If I Can Dream", the only time that imperious tenor really comes dangerously close to the absurd is when the old Lieber-Stoller song "Don't" is given the full club-singer treatment, Vic Reeves style. That aside, Legend is a surprisingly effective blend of mood and melodrama. A welcome return, trouser-seams permitting
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