Picks and Pans Review: Mathematics

updated 06/17/1985 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/17/1985 01:00AM

Melissa Manchester

On the last track of the second side of this album, Manchester finally claws out from under a synthesizer-heavy production blanket with a song titled Just One Lifetime. That number demonstrates why it was a mistake to smother her on the other nine songs. She's a dramatic pop singer, with a voice that is rich, deep and sexy when she has time to develop its intonations and insinuations. But this LP's arrangements make her an adjunct to the synthesizers. While the machines lay down predictable and repetitive riffs and rhythms, she bites off phrases and spurts out words in a fashion more appropriate to one of those dime-a-dozen disco dolls than to one of the most interesting women singers around. This seems all too much like a case of Melissa vs. the Memory Moog, with Melissa coming out on the short end. (MCA)

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