Rita Wilson is Hollywood royalty and that should be reason enough to sneer at her. But she is royalty through marriage -sorta like Princess Di, so double doo-doo. And I would be happy to, but Rita Wilson's AM/FM is an great idea, very well executed.
Essentially, MOR shits of the late 1960s/early 1970s are given a straight faced sendoff, with full orchestration and powerful vocals. I wasn't insane about most of these songs the first time round, and some of it is simply a bad idea, but what does work is really really wonderful.
It opens weak with a Chris Cornell duet on "All I Have To do Is Dream"-I mean, really, talk about unnecessary. OK, "Will You Love me Tomorrow" is completely useless and should be left to cuddle time with Tom.
Oh, yeah and, no no Supremes covers -come on Rita, you can do better? than that.
Yes she can, it is the half remembered flits and starts like soft rock dreams on a radio station that she manages to capture all of it. Was the Ronette's "Walking In The Rain" always this sweet? Phil pushed the song very , very hard and it aches in a way Wilson's version doesn't: Rita is like a memory of a memory.
Juice Newton's "Angel Of The Morning" is the best known version, but she over sings it. Wilson gets the dynamic perfectly, it builds within verses, and the sense of thwarted love ebbs and flows beautiful. That's Sheryl crow singing back up, by the way.
Some of this is recklessly brave, it takes quite a lot of chutzpah to follow in Linda Ronstadt's footsteps, and some of it a never even knew before. "Please Come To Boston is a Dave "King Of Soft Rock" Loggins song but I didn't know it at all. I love Wilson's version.
This is a minor masterpiece of mellow, far from Hollywood slumming, it is a very fine interpretation of some famous, some half forgotten , classic radio songs. If Rita chooses to do a follow up, may I suggest Bread's "Everything I Own"?