Patsy Cline - A Tribute To Patsy Cline / A Portrait Of Patsy Cline (BGO; BGOCD809)
reviewed by Michael Macomber
Patsy Cline was renowned for her mastery of the heart tugging ballad. She never overdid it. She always struck just the right note of sincere longing. Like Edith Piaf, she could bring a tear to the listener without going over the top. All she had to do was tell the truth, in that sweet, warm, soul stirring way she had.
The two posthumous releases on BGO’s second Patsy Cline re-issue disc feature some her most effective performances. “You’re Stronger Than Me” is a devastating mix of vulnerability and strength. Even as she declares her weakness, she displays her power, her ability to rise above the heartbreak, and see herself objectively. “Leavin’ On Your Mind” finds Cline steeling herself for the blow, ready to take the hurt, to get it over with, so she can move on. On “Why Can’t He Be You,” Cline’s desperate desire to reclaim a passion from the past is palpable. She is doing the dance that so many women and men have done, trying to force happiness with a current lover, while her soul cries out for the one who done her wrong.
Of course, Cline was no one-trick pony. “Tra Le La Le La Triangle” is delivered with a great deal of irony, taking on romantic complications with a smile and a wink. Her tender rendition of the Irving Berlin classic “Always” demonstrates her affinity for such material. She was famous for singing country, but time and time again she drifted toward standards, proving to the world there was more to her than the carefully cultivated public image.
This disc also offers up a healthy serving of hits, including “Back In Baby’s Arms,” “Sweet Dreams,” “So Wrong,” and “Crazy.” Possibly the only downside to this 24-track set is the fact that two songs are repeated. “When I Get Through With You (You’ll Love Me Too)” and “Who Can I Count On” appear on both A Tribute To Patsy Cline and A Portrait Of Patsy Cline. This still leaves 22 brilliant Cline recordings, more than enough to thrill any true fan.