Picks and Pans Review: Brotherly Love

updated 07/13/1981 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/13/1981 01:00AM

Donna Fargo

Nashville star Fargo's second recording since she learned she had multiple sclerosis in 1978 is her first all-gospel album and highly satisfying. Multiple sclerosis entails a progressive degeneration of the central nervous system, and for Donna, 31, it has brought on excruciating spasms and periods when she couldn't make a phone call or sign her name. She still does concerts, however, and her voice has maintained the bright buoyancy that originally brought her to prominence with her 1972 hit The Happiest Girl in the Whole U.S.A. That helps make a poignant album of what could have been a maudlin one. So does the choice of material by Fargo (and producer-husband Stan Silver), ranging from standbys like Amazing Grace and You Can't Be a Beacon (If Your Light Don't Shine) to I Knew Jesus (Before He Was a Star), by pop composers Neal Hefti and Stanley Styne, and Fargo's spirited Brotherly Love. Restrained arrangements and a corps of Nashville musicians help fill this album with good inspirational music that is also good music, period.

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