Picks and Pans Review: Hold Me

updated 08/26/1985 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/26/1985 01:00AM

Laura Branigan

More than any other pop-rock singer, Branigan displays hints of the plaintive, catch-in-the-throat vocal style of country music songstresses. It's an appealing trait; her rendering of the gentle Jack White/Mark Spiro ballad Foolish Lullaby on this album is an example of how effective she can be when she gets a little emotional. On the up-tempo tracks, though, she often gets lost in the noisy arrangements, which are all the more jarring because they are so synthesizer-dominated and mechanical sounding. It's as if Branigan is molding her style to the arrangements, rather than having them molded to her. (The first single, Spanish Eddie, sounds like an urbanized Marty Robbins song.) Sanctuary does have some of the thumpy appeal of one of Giorgio Moroder's better productions, and When the Heat Hits the Streets has compelling moments too. More often Branigan seems to be fighting a losing battle for control. (Atlantic)

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