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Culture: CD Review: The Presley legend lives on; CD OF THE WEEK Lisa Marie Presley: To Whom It May Concern (Capitol / EMI).

Byline: Reviewed by Charlie Melvin

Just once, I'd like to see an interview with Lisa Marie Presley where she's allowed to talk about her music. All they do is go over the same old horror stories. You know, her marriages to Michael Jackson and Nicolas Cage, yada yada yada.

Elvis and Priscilla's 35-year-old daughter, signed to Capitol by the label's new boss Andrew Slater, wrote the lyrics to these songs over a four-year period, and it's not too difficult to work out who they're about if you're so inclined.

It's the songs in memory of her father, whom Lisa Marie found dead on the bathroom floor when she was nine, that have the greatest emotional significance of course. Nobody Noticed It has a dig at the Memphis Mafia who let Elvis die, while the chugging Lights Out, which has been on Radio 2's A-list for ages, came about after she noticed there was a vacant plot next to her dad in the Graceland garden.

'Someone turned the lights out there in Memphis/That's where my family's buried and gone/Last time I was there I noticed a space left/Next to them there in Memphis in the damn back lawn,' she sings.

Lazy critics have likened Lisa Marie's husky drawl to Cher's, but I prefer to think of Alabama country star Allison Moorer, no stranger to personal tragedy herself.

Trouble is, with so much riding on it, the album sounds overproduced. The songs were recorded and re-recorded, mixed, remixed and mixed again. But you can't knock the success of the project, once it hit American stores in April. To Whom It May Concern shifted 140,000 copies in its first week, climbing to the top five of Billboard's album chart. In the end, it will be interesting to see how this repertoire translates to the live arena. Yesterday, Lisa Marie began a 17-date US tour with Californian retro-man Chris Isaak of Wicked Game fame. The Presley legend lives on. HHHH

To order this CD for pounds 13.99, including p&p, call our Music Line on 01364 832 789.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Jul 12, 2003
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