While Dave Edmunds is a knockout rock vocalist, a lightning guitarist, and a meticulous producer who defers to the sonic textbooks of rock history, he's never been a prolific songwriter. The majority of his recorded work has been written by other artists. Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe, Chuck Berry, and Bruce Springsteen are just a few of the names found in the fine print throughout his LP catalog. Yet perhaps my favorite interpretation he's recorded lies outside the rock and roll canon: the Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart song from 1937, "Where or When." Edmunds applies his love of Spectorian grandeur to this supernatural love song about recurring romantic déjà vu.
The dense fog of reverb that envelops the layered vocals only heightens the distant dreamland quality of the composition. Ironically, the lyrics "Some things that happen for the first time / seem to be happening again" summarize the song's theme but also accurately describe Edmunds's faithful rock-revival modus operandi.
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