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New on Pure Pop Radio 4.19.18: Gilbert O’Sullivan’s “Where Did You Go To”

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alan headshot from schoolBy Alan Haber – Pure Pop Radio

Spins and Reviews | 4.19.18

Gilbert O’Sullivan | “Where Did You Go To” | Gilbert O’Sullivan, 2018

All it takes is a song, not necessarily new but often so, to bring me back to my youth, back to my days listening to records in my bedroom, one after another after another still, closing my eyes and feeling each note and change and anticipating, because that’s what you did, the song’s fade. I swear that I could pick up the tone arm of my Symphonic all-in-one turntable without even peering ever so slightly through my closed eyelids and drop it at the beginning of a record to start the listening process all over again with hardly any effort at all and, it should be said, 100-percent accuracy.

gilbert o'sullivan 2018 albumSuch was the memory that overtook me after listening to the lovely first single from the brand-new, self-titled album from veteran singer-songwriter Gilbert O’Sullivan, releasing August 10. “Where Did You Go To” finds Gilbert in peak form, sounding all the world like he always has, singing warm melodies atop his singular piano playing and, this is the most important part: sounding like no one else in the whole wide world.

As “Where Did You Go To” was ending, and the sustained organ note at the close was coming to a full stop, I shut my eyes and remembered the feeling of listening to Gilbert’s first album, the one with “Alone Again (Naturally),” which I’d gotten from the Columbia Record Club. I became obsessed with that album, with that big hit single that graced the top spot on Billboard’s Hot 100, that was all over the radio back in the day.

But it was another song on that first album that captured my imagination even more. “Houdini Said,” a bonanza of melody and clever, stream-of-consciousness wordplay about anything and everything (and then some) seemed somehow otherworldly, yet completely relatable. I continue to play it frequently today. It is, as are so many of Gilbert’s songs, part of me.

I look forward to Gilbert O’Sullivan, to a dozen new songs that will undoubtedly capture my imagination in the same way that most all of the artist’s work has. In anticipation, I will close my eyes and sing to my inner self the opening lines of “Houdini Said”: “Doctor in love who is above/All others close to you…”

black box Where to Get It: Pre-order Gilbert O’Sullivan in various bundle configurations in Gilbert’s store. Pre-order CD, vinyl or cassette at Amazon. Pre-order the digital download and/or purchase “Where Did You Go To” immediately at Amazon.

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