“It’s Lesley Gore’s career, she’ll revive it if she wants to . . . (She) has released her first new album in 30 years. It is called Ever Since, and it is as mature and wistful as her early records were brash and bright.”
—The New York Times
“You know what I’m going to say when people ask me what I’ve been doing for thirty years? ‘Practicing.'”
A wry smile crosses Lesley Gore’s face as she answers, both out of respect for the artistic process she is eternally engaged in, and out of the confidence that her “practice” has been paying off all along. Every time she steps on stage, and with every phrase of her new album, Ever Since, she answers joyfully, furiously, generously, and completely—this has been time well spent.
The most commercially successful solo artist of the “Girl Group” era of the ’60s, Gore quickly set herself apart. With a string of Quincy Jones-produced chart-topping hits, including “It’s My Party,” “Judy’s Turn To Cry,” and “You Don’t Own Me,” she introduced the world to a brilliant artist with pop instincts and an independent spirit that stood out against the formulaic offerings on the radio.
A full-fledged star by age 16, her smash hits rang like anthems for young American women, and pointed the way for future generations of rabble-rousing pop singers from Debbie Harry and Pat Benatar to Madonna and Gwen Stefani—all of whom remain in her debt.
Having maintained a constant touring schedule in major venues across the country, Lesley Gore is no less committed today. Her voice, now burnished from the years of “practice,” deepens everything it touches with the hard-won wisdom of time, and in her care, songs take on new levels of meaning that less experienced artists cannot yet reach.
On “Not The First” (written by Gore), she warns a friend about the perils of blind love (“You’re not the first / To think you’ll be the last”), but could just as easily be warning Avril Lavigne about the perils of the music business. When she lilts, “All the parties I’ve been to / You were missed” (“Ever Since”), she draws listeners back to her #1 hit, “It’s My Party,” while ushering them gracefully forward into the new world she now inhabits.
Produced by Blake Morgan, Ever Since is a timeless collection of classic songs placed in a transparent, pin-lit setting that allows her to shine. Included are re-imagined versions of two Lesley Gore standards, “You Don’t Own Me” and the Academy Award–nominated “Out Here On My Own” (from Fame), seamlessly interwoven with new songs written by national recording artists Mike Errico, Blake Morgan, and Gore herself.
The band—Jonathan Ellinghaus (drums), John Turner (bass), Mike Errico (guitars) and Blake Morgan (piano)—provides a lush setting for Lesley’s astonishing vocals. Mixing and mastering duties are shared between Morgan and 2005 Grammy Award-winner Phil Nicolo.
Ever Since is a Lesley Gore postcard, sent from the journey she’d always said she was going to take. Fans who have traveled with her will have a new reason to love her, and the people who haven’t checked in with her in a while will fall in love all over again.
“It’s Lesley Gore’s career, she’ll revive it if she wants to . . . (She) has released her first new album in 30 years. It is called Ever Since, and it is as mature and wistful as her early records were brash and bright. “You Don’t Own Me” reappears on Ever Since, in a restrained arrangement that suits the disc’s cabaret cocktail of jazzy pop and spry ballads. “Out Here on My Own,” from Fame, also returns, along with three other tracks of which Ms. Gore was either writer or co-writer. (Blake) Morgan and another of his label’s recording artists, Mike Errico, contributed most of the rest of the songs. Ms. Gore’s voice is a little huskier with the years, and her singing shows the influence of the jazz singers she grew up listening to, like Nina Simone and Dinah Washington.”
—Jesse Fox Mayshark, The New York Times
(CRITIC’S CHOICE) “On her first album of new material in 30 years, Gore goes the pop-cabaret route via 10 songs that revel in an intimate setting. Simple yet lush arrangements surround her voice . . . The ever-hopeful “Better Angels” is an absolute high point in a collection of several peaks.”
—Michael Paoletta, Billboard Magazine
“Yes, Lesley Gore is back. The singer who stood out in the ’60s girl-group era by going it alone, who insisted on the right to cry at her own party, who championed feminist pop before the term was coined (via “You Don’t Own Me”) and who has been absent from the recording scene for 30 years, has a new album. And, no, thank heavens, she hasn’t jumped aboard the vintage pop standards bandwagon a la Rod Stewart and Carly Simon. Instead, Ever Since is a cozy pop cabaret album, an intimate showcase for Gore’s now hazy alto and contemplative delivery. You won’t detect even a whiff of the Quincy Jones-tailored wraparound productions that propelled Gore up the charts in her youth, but there are reminders of her past (and the passing of time), from the wistful title track (“All the weight of nights and days / Too long to list / All the parties I’ve been to / You were missed”) to the closing ballads. On “Out Here on My Own,” the Oscar-nominated Fame hit she co-wrote with brother Michael, Gore confesses, “Sometimes I wonder where I’ve been / Who I am, do I fit in…” On “We Went So High,” she concludes, “And when you think you’re safe and sound / Anywhere you go from there is down.” Gore also revisits “You Don’t Own Me,” quietly delivering the album’s most somber and soulful performance. As you might expect of an artist who has had a lot of time to mull things over, Gore has chosen her songs and settings with care. The effort makes her return all the more welcome and enjoyable.”
—Mike Joyce, The Washington Post