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May 2005

Rigmor Gustafsson
Close to You
ACT Music + Vision

The Swedish singer Rigmor Gustafsson sounded just dandy throughout 2003's I Will Wait for You. She sounds even better when teamed with exemplary French pianist Jacky Terrasson on Close to You (ACT Music). Billed as a celebration of Dionne Warwick, it's really more an homage to the combined genius of Bacharach and David, since several of the selected songs were more famously recorded by artists other than Warwick, including "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head" (B.J. Thomas), "What the World Needs Now" (Jackie DeShannon) and "I Just Don't Know What to Do With Myself" (originally done to near-suicidal perfection by Dusty Springfield). Weaving through such pop chestnuts (along with such later, lesser-known delights as Luther Vandross' "So Amazing" and Jerry Ragovoy's "Move Me No Mountain"), Gustafsson suggests Blondie's Debbie Harry after a big gulp of Astrud Gilberto and a Julie London chaser. She is as cool and bracing as a northern breeze on a sunny Stockholm afternoon.

Originally published in May 2005
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