Picks and Pans Review: Times of Our Lives

updated 04/19/1982 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 04/19/1982 AT 01:00 AM EST

Judy Collins

This 19th album by Our Lady of the Azure Eyes is her solidest collection in years, mostly because her affecting soprano has so much body. She's always been a shrewd selector (and generator) of material, but this mix seems just right. It's Gonna Be One of Those Nights and Great Expectations are tender up-tempo songs written by Texas-born Hugh Prestwood. She renders a poignant version of Memory, from the British musical Cats. Most of the rest of the songs are Collins confessionals. Mama Mama is about a worn-out mother, The Rest of Your Life concerns a parent letting go of a child (Judy, 42, has a 22-year-old son), and Granddaddy is about hers. In her own Angel on My Side, she sings: "Where the devil led me I would go/ I had sold my soul for pleasure, thinking it would last/ All my hopes had vanished in the past/ ...God only knows how I made it back home." If indeed she took a round trip to some Stygian river, it's nice to have her back.

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