Who's today's foremost young interpreter of the timeless music of Burt Bacharach and Hal David? Chances are many would answer with one name: Rumer. On October 21, the singer-songwriter will release her first full-length tribute to the songwriting legends with the debut on Rhino/EastWest of her fourth album, the eagerly-anticipated This Girl's in Love: A Bacharach and David Songbook.
In 2010, Rumer released the single Sings Bacharach at Christmas featuring her tender reading of the classic "Alfie" along with the world premiere of a song written by Bacharach and lyricist Steven Sater, "Some Lovers," from their musical of the same name (most recently seen at New York City's Lincoln Center). Since then, she's movingly sang Bacharach and David's "A House is Not a Home" in front of President Obama as part of a 2012 tribute to the team, and in 2015 her B-Sides and Rarities collection included affectionate renditions of Bacharach's "Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)" and "Hasbrook Heights" (a duet with Dionne Warwick) among its gems. Rumer has also performed other Bacharach classics live and on television, making This Girl's in Love a long-overdue treat.
For this project, Rumer has teamed with arranger-orchestrator-conductor (and her husband) Rob Shirakbari, a 25+-year veteran of both Bacharach and Warwick's bands, for a set of songs both familiar ("The Look of Love," "One Less Bell to Answer," "(They Long to Be) Close to You") and lesser-known except to Bacharach connoisseurs ("The Balance of Nature," "The Last One to Be Loved"). All twelve songs have been previously recorded by Bacharach and David's muse, Warwick.
In the press release for This Girl's in Love, Rumer emphasizes that many of the songs have been reinvented with reverence: "In some cases I said, 'Forget all the other versions - what is the song about?'" Of the 1965 hit "What the World Needs Now is Love," introduced by Jackie DeShannon, Rumer comments, "When I looked at the words, I realized that it was a prayer moment. It's a song about someone asking God to bring peace to the world." Indeed, the classic has taken on new meaning in the wake of the Orlando nightclub tragedy of earlier this year, adopted as an anthem in support of the victims and performed by Broadway for Orlando as recently as last week at the Democratic National Convention.
Rumer also stresses that the project is as much a tribute to the late Hal David as it is to Bacharach: "I love Hal. You can feel his personality through his lyrics, his opinions and thoughts on the world... there's so much of his own heart in these songs." Bacharach personally requested that Rumer record two of the album's hidden gems, both originally from 1964: "The Last One to Be Loved" (first recorded by Warwick and Lou Johnson) and "In the Land of Make Believe" (recorded that year by The Drifters and Warwick, and later famously covered by Dusty Springfield). Bacharach himself makes an appearance on piano, accompanying Rumer on the famous title track, "This Girl's in Love with You."
The 12-song album will be available on both CD and vinyl. The vinyl edition features an alternate cover. Rumer has indicated on her Facebook page that four additional songs from Bacharach and David's 1963-1967 period were also recorded during the sessions and will turn up later as B-sides: "Wives and Lovers," "The Windows of the World," "Anyone Who Had a Heart" and "To Wait for Love." Rumer stated that "Anyone Who Had a Heart" will appear on the Japanese CD, and "Wives" will be part of a CD single, but also noted that all four tracks will be collected on her eventual release of B-Sides and Rarities Volume 2! (If you missed it, check out info on Volume 1 right here!)
Rumer's beautifully understated rendition of "(They Long to Be) Close to You" is streaming now as a tantalizing taste of This Girl's in Love. The album, which will doubtless prove to be a fitting celebration of two of our greatest songwriters from one of today's most sublime voices, arrives from Rhino/EastWest on October 21, and pre-order links are available below! (Amazon U.K. purchasers get a special treat: Rumer has autographed copies of both the vinyl and CD versions!)
Rumer, This Girl's in Love: A Bacharach and David Songbook (Rhino/EastWest, 2016)
- The Look of Love
- The Balance of Nature
- One Less Bell to Answer
- Are You There (With Another Girl)
- (They Long to Be) Close to You
- You'll Never Get to Heaven (If You Break My Heart)
- Land of Make Believe
- A House is Not a Home
- Walk On By
- The Last One to Be Loved
- This Girl's in Love with You
- What the World Needs Now is Love