Album Review

Patsy Cline - Sentimentally Yours

Patsy Cline

Sentimentally Yours

Decca

Release Date: August 11th, 1962

Words by: Keita Tarlinton
July 29th, 1962

8.0

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I have been accused of having a propensity for depressing music. In my defense I simply thrive on music that has the power to move me and to heighten my vitality. Having said that however, I wouldn't choose to listen to Leonard Cohen's earlier catalogue if I were feeling on the darker side of blue. Similarly if I were suffering a freshly broken heart I wouldn't turn to Patsy Cline's Sentimentally Yours. Perhaps many of the broken hearted would find in these songs a sympathetic voice, but personally it would equate to bathing in misery. Why not just lock the door, stay in bed, and weep into my can of spaghetti?

This old maid chooses the lonely descent into madness, 'cause if I can't have him, I can't have no one.'

Sentimentally Yours,

Keita Tarlinton.

Thankfully I am presently not suffering a broken heart, so I can indulge in this album in a less, ahem, sentimental manner. However, it is impossible to escape the lament that lines the interior of this record. Here sorrow is to love somebody that no longer loves you.

The album opens with 'she's got you': a couple of bars of twinkling piano, and then straight in with the strong, magnificent voice of Patsy Cline as she attempts to convince you that she is okay, only to reveal that she is instead filled with self delusion.

'I've got your picture that you gave to me. And it's signed with love just like it used to be. The only thing different, the only thing new. I've got your picture, she's got you.'

The next track leaps in with the sort of tempo that suggests a happier lyrical tone, but in spite of this a tale is told of broken romance. It is called 'heartaches' after all and it comes across as especially tragic; such despondency is exaggerated by such jovial instrumental surrounds. Potential analogy – to spot the broken heart at the dinner party.

A similar approach presents itself further on with the songs 'anytime' and 'you were only fooling', however they are hardly as memorable. The album plays really well, with a handful of standouts including the two opening tracks, 'she's got you' and 'heartaches'; the clever instrumentation of 'strange' sets it apart also, and the Dolly Parton-esque album closer 'lonely street' is great too.

There seems to be no doubt that Patsy Cline endured much personal hardship in her short life. Yet to public knowledge this was related to her health and not a product of languishing in a perpetual state of dejection.

Perhaps she too felt some great elation courtesy of music that drifted toward the melancholy. She was quoted as saying "Oh, I just sing like I hurt inside". Whatever her source of pain , she delivers a palpable sense of loss and longing on this record, countered expertly by the pop-country styling's of both her backing big-band and male vocal quartet – The Jordanaires.

Sentimentally Yours was released at the height of Patsy Cline's career. It was arranged to appeal to listeners outside the country market, and for those unfamiliar with her work it remains a worthy introductory album. It must also be noted that there is a certain amount of poignancy related to this album for she died tragically in a plane crash less than a year after its release in August 1962.

…Well, I couldn't write about the music of Patsy Cline without ending on a sad note.

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