Below is the audio of "Somebody Like Me," courtesy of "tenda berry" and YouTube. It's followed by excerpts from an appreciation of Patchwork written by John Dowler for Raven Records' 2007 CD release containing both this album and Gentry's previous album Fancy.
. . . Baby, sorry it's only meDon't want nobody stayin' up late at nightwaitin' on me, waitin' on me, waitin' on me.
Can't seem to settle down,maybe I'll just hang around.But every time you pick me upI guess I take you down.
But though I wonder why you want me,somehow I just know if you stopped lovin' meI'd crawl on off and die.
What's somebody like youlovin' somebody like me for, baby?What's somebody like youlovin' somebody like me for, child?
Better go find somebody to love you;Better go find somebody to love . . .
After a couple of years treading water creatively, during which she released two albums containing only three original compositions between them, Bobbie Gentry determined to up the ante with the release of Patchwork in 1971. Completely self-composed and self-produced, the album was a song cycle with the component tracks linked by a series of orchestral interludes, enabling it to be viewed and listened to as a seamless whole.
In much the same way as author Ray Bradbury used the tattooed body of a man as a device to shape a disparate collection of stories into a unified work in The Illustrated Man, Gentry utilised the panels of fabric in a patchwork skirt to provide the unifying principle for a diverse collection of songs. It was a creative conceit that would facilitate the production of what is undoubtedly her most sustained artistic statement. . . . [The track] "Somebody Like Me," a Motown-flavoured slice of rhythm and blues, neatly showcases Gentry's easy facility with the genre . . .
– John Dowler
Recommended Off-site Links:
Whatever Happened to Bobbie Gentry? – Miranda Sawyer (The Observer, May 19, 2012).
Ode to Bobbie Gentry – Kurt Wolff (CBS New York, July 27, 2012).
Bobbie Gentry: Rediscovering the Girl from Chickasaw County – Jeremy Roberts (Examiner, July 27, 2012).