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on 6 October 2014
I first heard Emergence on vinyl back when it was first released. I'd been a fan of Sedaka's from the beginning and here was a modern album from the hit songwriter. I wish I could say that it was a balanced effort but it felt patchy even back then and hasn't aged well. Sedaka's voice and the production is sublime and it is a shame that the songs don't really stand the test of time. The album wasn't a success and it's not hard to see why. Songs like Cardboard California, a highly negative rant about the US state and its lifestyle surely wasn't going to make him any friends amongst the West Coast population not to mention the record company executives of the vast music industry California was already home to. A lot of the ballad lyrics are also terribly cheesy by today's standards. Not a classic.
Solitaire, his first collaboration with 10CC, definitely shifted Sedaka to a more serious plane. Songs like That's Where The Muisc Takes Me and Solitaire became defining moments from the project. But........and here is the great disappointment for me the recording quality that emerged at the time from Strawberry Studios, 10CC's own studio here in the UK is poor. The CD reveals audible distortion, moments where the drums are distinctly over-recorded and a rather minimalist approach to the arrangements that place it a world away from the audio quality and sophisticatd arrangements Emergence achieved. The digital transfer of Solitaire is flat and dull, a great shame. Nevertheless this double CD is an interesting curio even if these two albums don't sit comfortably alongside one another.