Picks and Pans Review: Is This a Cool World or What?

UPDATED 11/02/1981 at 01:00 AM EST Originally published 11/02/1981 at 01:00 AM EST

Karla DeVito

So far Karla's career has been that of a second banana. She is best known as the steamy female foil on tour when Meat Loaf performed his smash Paradise by the Dashboard Light and as Ronstadt's understudy in Broadway's Pirates of Penzance (a role she inherited for several months this summer). Now, at last, the spotlight is all hers. DeVito's bold vocal style is a shotgun wedding of Broadway bravado and reckless rock, which makes a lot of sense given her past roles in the touring company of Godspell and the campy stage review El Grande de Coca Cola. Of the album's dozen tunes, she wrote or co-wrote four, the best of which is the title cut: "I want some French sunglasses/Call-waiting on my phone/I want a house for my mother/Just like Moses Malone." For other tunes, she turns to Mr. Loaf's chief composer, Jim Steinman, for his clever Heaven Can Wait. She also deftly handles a delightful remake of the Grass Roots' 1968 hit Midnight Confession, a sensitive pre-Short People ballad of Randy Newman's, and John (Creedence Clearwater Revival) Fogerty's rousing Almost Saturday Night. The strength of this debut augurs well for Karla to inherit another Ronstadt role: wailing siren of rock.

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