Picks and Pans Review: Never Let You Go

updated 05/30/1983 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/30/1983 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Rita Coolidge

A wonderful thing happens on this album on Bob Seger's tune We've Got Tonight, for which Coolidge duets with Jermaine Jackson. Jackson is such an involved and involving singer he seems to all but light her up. She sounds passionate, vigorous, aroused; and when in the closing bars she sighs one line in a husky rasp, Jackson, in the background, growls delightedly. There are two unfortunate things about this track, though. One is that, splendid as it is, it is much more likely that someone will have a best-selling novel called Moby-Dick this year than that there will be another hit single of We've Got Tonight, Kenny Rogers and Sheena Easton having gotten there first. The second problem is that the other nine songs on the LP, while representing an enterprising break into modern pop, seem thoroughly listless by comparison. Coolidge essays such recent tunes as Squeeze's Tempted, Joe Jackson's Fools in Love and Culture Club's Do You Really Want to Hurt Me, but her heart doesn't seem to be in the project. Coolidge says of keyboardist and co-producer Bernie Worrell, who's worked also with Talking Heads, "When in doubt, Bemie'd say, 'Okay, let's put the funk on it.' " The realistic fact may be that Rita, at 39, is just a trifle too mature to have people going around putting the funk on her.

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