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Boomkat Product Review:
The first Scott Walker solo record is not an understated affair by any measure. Under any circumstances, it would be hard to restrain that profound, impossibly rich baritone of his, but Walker matches the flamboyance of his voice with vast orchestral arrangements and a music hall sense of theatricality.
From Jacques Brel's 'Mathilde', 'My Death' and 'Amsterdam' to other third party-penned pieces like 'Angelica', there's extroversion on an epic scale, with Walker breaking free of his teen idol roots and venturing tentatively towards the makings of the iconic figure he would later become. This album remains a curiosity however, departing from the more common formats of 1960s pop music and instead flirting with elements of MOR.
The sheer magnitude and charisma of Walker's performances will forever prevent the album from fading into irrelevance though; his impassioned reinterpretations of those Brel songs illustrating that perfectly: they tower above the French language originals, loaded with pomp and self-assurance. In truth it's all a far cry from the introspection that would later permeate Walker's own writing, which is on display here via such fine pieces as 'Montague terrace (In Blue)', 'Always Coming Back To You' and 'Such A Small Love', with its eerily droning strings.