Lee Stanley, s/t

1973, RCA

Dug up at Amoeba dollar bin

Track list, faves in

A1. Runnin’ After You
A2. No Track
A3. Every Minute
A4. I Knead You
A5. Wash Away
B1. Afternoon Rain
B2. There is a Woman
B3. Where am I Now
B4. River
B5. Taking You Home

James Lee Stanley is a folk-rock artist whose low-key heyday
was in the ‘70s. This is his debut album, but he released a follow-up to this
record immediately after its release and called it James Lee Stanley, Too. He had
a few more studio releases and a soundtrack under his belt as well. He wrote
music for the film Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, a movie that confused me when I
watched it at 14. It doesn’t help that I missed probably the first hour.

Anyway, I bought this record hoping the art was ironic;
sadly it is not. That said, it isn’t bad either. It reminds me of the Art
Garfunkel record I have, acoustic tracks with strong vocals, some with more
meaningful messages than others. I tend to prefer the more serious tracks over
the silly ones, but “Wash Away” does make me smile. The track is unedited, or
at least was cut to seem that way, and begins with Stanley talking to someone
in the studio. He launches into the track, and after about half a minute, you can
hear him smile while he sings.

This feels like it was intended to be an album for children,
hence the unironic album artwork. The lyrics at times are probably a little too
complicated and poetic for children to comprehend, but the melodies are simple
and sing-songy. The song “I Knead You” is exactly the level of adult-joke that
you would expect from a kids record, where the lyrics spell out a
double-entendre, though it doesn’t always (or really, ever) make sense both
ways. (The birds knead the sky? Nonsensical.) Still, this is a light record that
anyone of any age can enjoy.

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