Picks and Pans Review: Hearts on Fire

updated 08/06/1984 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/06/1984 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Karen Brooks

The thrill of discovery is gone, of course, Brooks having established herself among the top rank of country singers with her debut album, Walk On, in 1982. But if this isn't the saved-up-for-a-lifetime collection that LP was, it is a splendid, career-stabilizing follow-up. Bull Rider, one of the rare dull Rodney Crowell tunes, seems a strange choice for her to sing, and the title song has more flicker than fire. But Dave Loggins' Tonight I'm Here With Someone Else showcases Brooks' ability to sound both tough and tender, and Hank DeVito's On the Boulevard has a vagabond energy to it. Brooks appears as composer on only one tune, A Simple I Love You, a quietly affecting romancer written with Randy Sharp. Sharp and Bonnie Bramlett add some invigorating background vocals. The best thing about the album, though, is that it confirms the judgment of those who thought Brooks was a terrific singer when they first heard her. (Warner Brothers)

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