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Colin Blunstone

One Year (Runt/Sony BMG)

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As frontman for the Zombies, Colin Blunstone's breathy croon complemented the band's gorgeously hook-heavy arrangements. Their final album, 1968's Odessey and Oracle, produced the posthumous hit "Time of the Season" and serves as a touchstone of baroque/psych pop.

Blunstone took a job selling insurance before the success of the aforementioned single drew him back to record this solo album in the early '70s. Finally released in the U.S. on CD, it features Blunstone at the height of his powers. Zombies bandmates Rod Argent and Chris White contribute the warm, harmony-kissed power pop of "She Loves the Way They Love Her," and the dramatic, string-laden/cello-driven "Smokey Day." But Blunstone is equally winning on the self-penned "Caroline Goodbye," a cinematic blue-eyed-soul ballad, and "I Can't Live Without You," a slice of angelic classicalism. The album's capped by a sumptuous cover of Denny Laine's "Say You Don't Mind."

While Blunstone released a couple more albums in both the '70s and '90s, and has continued to tour, nothing has come as close to the near perfection of the Zombies as this album.

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