Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Reviews / Recordings

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Reviews / Recordings

Article excerpt

"CRAZYSEXYCOOL" TLC (LaFace)

Few R&B albums celebrated the exuberance of adolescence with as much style as TLC's debut, "Ooooooh . . . On the TLC Tip." It wasn't the way the producers - mainly Dallas Austin, Daryl Simmons, L.A. Reid and Babyface - distilled hip-hop and club beats into a catchy, utterly accessible package; there was also an honesty and intelligence to the songs that kept them from seeming like typical teen-pop product.

But TLC has done some growing since then, and the trio's second album, "CrazySexyCool," has a decidedly adult bent to it. Although that's most obvious in the bedroom talk that fills out such songs as "Kick Your Game" and "Red Light Special," that's not the only area in which TLC's newfound maturity is evident.

The voice of experience comes through loud and strong in the strongly worded "Case of the Fake People." The group's increased musical confidence is more than evident in "Sumthin' Wicked This Way Comes" as well as the tuneful and intoxicating "Waterfalls." It's great to see a good group grow up. J.D. Considine, Baltimore Sun

***** "HEALING HANDS OF TIME" Willie Nelson (Liberty/SBK)

Willie Nelson is a wonderfully gifted and original vocal interpreter who exhibits a Sinatra-like feel for combining intimacy, sophistication and character. At 61, however, he's way too far on the wrong side of the age curve to get much country radio airplay - or the album sales that creates - in the era of Garth and Clint.

The problem with that underdog position is that it encourages record execs to overthink each project - as if every Nelson album is a comeback try in need of a special twist.

This time, producer Jimmy Bowen puts Nelson with a 60-piece orchestra in hopes of crossover appeal, and the arrangements smother the bearded Texan much of the time on standards ranging from his own "Funny How Time Slips Away" to Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II's "All the Things You Are. …

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