Chris Farlowe's debut album actually offers one a lot to think about and even more to enjoy, while pondering how this white Englishman could pour forth such convincing gutbucket soul. One of the finest soul albums to come out of England (or anywhere else) that year, 14 Things to Think About, was spawned by Farlowe's successful U.K. charting -- albeit at a low level -- with his version of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards' "Think." The latter opens the LP about as strongly as any record issued in England that year, the horns and the beat and Farlowe all giving us a very vivid idea of how Otis Redding might've handled the song in Memphis. The other material here is a decidedly mixed bag, ranging from the Kander & Ebb "My Colouring Book," Ira and George Gershwin's "Summertime," and the Bacharach/David "I Just Don't Know What to Do With Myself" to Bob Dylan's "It's All Over Now Baby Blue" -- every track here is worth hearing, though the Kander & Ebb number comes close to not working; and on the Bacharach and Dylan songs, and "Lipstick Traces," "Don't Play That Song," "Looking for You," "Why Don't You Change Your Ways," and "My Girl Josephine," it's very easy to forget that one is listening to a white vocalist working out of England. It was to be Farlowe's most consistent and -- apart from a cover of the Beatles' "Yesterday" -- his most exciting album, and his purest soul album.
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