It is the year of the 50th anniversary in the entertainment industry, and Dionne Warwick is no intruder to the celebrations.
On ‘Now’, this collection of both classics and new material, Warwick reminds listeners of her lush vocals. Her voice has aged but not weakened and she still breezes through the tracks with the same ease she always has, although the vocals have matured and her delivery contains more wisdom now than it did when she first arrived as a wide-eyed 21 year old.
Amongst the recognisable numbers are ‘Make It Easy On Yourself’, ‘Always Something There To Remind Me’, ‘I Say A Little Prayer’ (a duet with her eldest son David Elliott) and her first single from 1962, ‘Don’t Make Me Over’. They are safe versions, as you might expect when recorded for a purpose such as this, but enjoyable nevertheless. It would have been nice to hear Warwick and her producer Phil Ramone take a few more risks with the arrangements, as her voice never really gets the chance to stun the listener like it can, though ultimately just hearing her sing is enough.
Whilst all of the old material here is by Hal David and Burt Bacharach, they each worked with Warwick to create the four new tracks on the record too, Bacharach wrote ‘Love Is Still The Answer’ and single ‘Is There Anybody Out There?’ while David wrote the lyrics for ’99 Miles From LA’ and ‘It Was Almost Like A Song’. David died in September, and Warwick sings his last lyric here, quite appropriately.
Fans of Warwick will welcome this record as the collectors’ item that it is. The old songs have been updated with modern arrangements, and the new songs don’t seem out of place. It is a pleasant, easy listening record celebrating the career of one of the great voices popular music has to offer.