Album reviews of Donna Loren’s ‘Love It Away’ and ‘Donna Does Elvis in Hawaii’

Donna Loren
“Love It Away”
Swinging Sixties Productions
Grade: ***

“Donna Does Elvis In Hawaii” (EP)
Swinging Sixties Productions
Grade: ****


By Gillian G. Gaar

An aficionado of 1960s’ TV would recognize Donna Loren as a guest star on programs like “Batman,” “The Monkees” and “Shindig,” and in the “Beach Party” series of films (“Bikini Beach,” “Muscle Beach Party,” “Beach Blanket Bingo,” et. al.), as both a singer and actor.

Donna Loren Love It Away and Donna Does Elvis in Hawaii albumsHer latest album, “Love It Away,” is a mix of covers and original material. Loren has a pleasant, if undistinguished, voice and she fares better on the covers, which are the stronger songs. Covers include Johnny Kidd’s “Shakin’ All Over,” Jackson Browne’s “Live Nude Cabaret,” and Bob Dylan’s “I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight,” all of which she takes at a slow, steamy tempo (“I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight” also features Wrecking Crew bassist Carol Kaye).

“Elvis In Hawaii” is Loren’s tribute to both the King and her home state of Hawaii. The highlight of the four-song EP is a torchy version of “Teddy Bear” featuring Grammy winner Charles Brotman on ukulele. “One Night” was recorded in the ’80s — the dated synthesizer arrangement gives the game away — but Loren’s vocal is easily equal to what’s on offer in the Cirque Du Soleil’s Las Vegas production of “Viva Elvis.”




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