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The Peggy Lee Songbook: There'll Be Another Spring

The songwriter Sammy Cahn says in notes to this album that Peggy Lee can make any song seem greater than it is. That might help explain why she sounds so poised throughout this 38-year retrospective of songs she wrote herself. The new ones, such as ”Circle in the Sky,” are feeble compared to her ’50s and ’60s standards, and even those standards — ”Fever,” ”Johnny Guitar” — aren’t exactly Cole Porter. But then the whole Songbook sounds like music petrified in amber. Lee’s voice seems to be in perfect working order, but interpretively she’s like someone furnishing an antique doll’s house. She seems to be singing about just one thing: how the world used to be. C-

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