Picks and Pans Review: The Secret of Association

updated 08/05/1985 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/05/1985 01:00AM

Paul Young

Young, 29, this year received a BRIT (the English equivalent of the Grammy). His second album is vaulting him toward that degree of esteem in this country. The excitement he has caused since his debut with 1983's No Parlez can be traced to one of the most remarkable voices in pop music. Opulent, resonant, impassioned and soulful, his singing reaches startling heights and depths of feeling. A measure of any singer's power is the ability to imprint his style on familiar songs. Everytime You Go Away is associated with Hall and Oates and I'm Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down with Graham Parker and the Rumor, yet Young makes both these songs his own. With this album Young has begun to write a greater portion of his own material, in collaboration with his keyboardist, Ian Kewley. Their songs, while not as ripe as the borrowed tunes, are promising. Producer Laurie Latham has again delivered the distinctive Young sound: a roomy, informal background driven by a gutsy bass line. The beat goes on, and Young's voice gets even better. (Columbia)

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