RELEASE
LABEL
Capitol
GENRES
Vocal Music, Contemporary Pop/Rock, Traditional Pop, Early Pop/Rock, Vocal Pop, Vocal Jazz

Album Review

When Peggy Lee became well-known in the 1940s, swing and jazz-influenced pop dominated the musical landscape. In the 1960s, however, it was a whole new world in popular music. The British Invasion and Motown -- not big bands -- were mainstream, and to the Baby Boomer youths of the 1960s, Lee was part of "our parents' music." But the singer had a major hit with 1969's Is That All There Is?, one of the best-selling albums of her career. While this isn't a rock album per se -- Lee's foundation was still jazz-influenced pop -- it acknowledges pop-rock tastes of the 1960s without being unfaithful to her history. Everything on this LP is a gem, and that includes a moody remake of Lee's 1940s hit "Don't Smoke in Bed" as well as classic arrangements of George Harrison's "Something," Neil Diamond's "Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show," Leiber & Stoller's "I'm a Woman," and Randy Newman's "Love Story." The LP's centerpiece, however, is Newman's hit arrangement of Leiber & Stoller's title song, which was covered by P.J. Harvey in the 1990s. Influenced by German cabaret, this half-spoken, half-sung treasure is as hauntingly soulful as it is maudlin. The song's outlook is far from optimistic; essentially, it's saying that we might as well grab our moments of pleasure and enjoyment where we can find them because ultimately, life is nothing more than a meaningless series of disappointments. But there's nothing disappointing about Is That All There Is?, an LP that is most certainly among Lee's finest accomplishments.
Alex Henderson, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Is That All There Is?
  2. Love Story
  3. Me and My Shadow
  4. My Old Flame
  5. I'm a Woman
  6. Brother Love's Travelling Salvation Show
  7. Something
  8. Whistle for Happiness
  9. Johnny (Linda)
  10. Don't Smoke in Bed