Picks and Pans Review: Angel Heart

UPDATED 05/24/1982 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 05/24/1982 at 01:00 AM EDT

Jimmy Webb

Webb has written some of the most successful pop songs of the last 15 years—By the Time I Get to Phoenix, Galveston and Wichita Lineman (hits for Glen Campbell), Mac Arthur Park (Richard Harris), Up, Up and Away (The Fifth Dimension), All I Know (Art Garfunkel) and The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress (Judy Collins). He has never had a hit on his own, however, in six solo albums of trying. This LP should not break his streak, but it does include some uncommonly thoughtful tunes, such as Scissors Cut (" 'If they ever drop the bomb,' you said/'I'll find you in the flames'/But now we live like people/Who don't know each other's names"). There's also a fine tribute to Elvis, His World ("Young god/With his firecrackers/But you gotta laugh/You gotta laugh"). The arrangements by Matt McCauley and Fred Mollin are slick, and there are striking contributions by a talented group of drop-in background vocalists that includes Stephen Bishop, Valerie Carter, Leah Kunkel, Kenny Loggins, Michael McDonald and Graham Nash.

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