"Love Is Coming Back" - Wonderland Love Stories, Chapter One
Liner Note Author: R.J. Smith .
Illustrator: Andy Engel.
The Wonderland series -- which made an impressive debut with its savvy but festive Christmas albums -- returns in time for Valentine's Day with Wonderland Love Stories, Chapter 1: Love Is Coming Back. Like their predecessors, the Wonderland Love Stories albums mix current and classic renditions of vocal jazz and pop standards. This time, however, romance is the focus, and on Love Is Coming Back there are many prime examples of all kinds of love songs, from Sarah Vaughan's breathy torch song "The Nearness of You" to Rosemary Clooney's bright and brassy "Me and You" to Ella Fitzgerald's sweet ballad version of "I Can't Give You Anything But Love, Baby." While some of the more modern recordings on the album don't have the presence of the aforementioned songs or of June Christy's "When You Wish Upon a Star" or Mel Torm‚'s "P.S. I Love You," Laura Nyro's spare, striking version of "Embraceable You" and Linda Ronstadt's quick-change version of "Falling in Love Again" rival the classic recordings included here. Other standout tracks include Lavay Smith's "Gee Baby, Ain't I Good to You?," Carly Simon's "My Romance," and Ingrid Lucia's title track. While some more classic recordings would've been nice to hear, Wonderland Love Stories, Chapter 1: Love Is Coming Back still offers a nice mix of vintage and contemporary love songs. ~ Heather Phares