Picks and Pans Review: Lighting Up the Night
It's hard to guess whether Wagner could have had a recording career had he not first established himself on the TV soap opera General Hospital (he plays rock musician Frisco Jones). He's certainly a first class professional singer, with a sturdy, true voice, lots of drive and actorish inflections. On the other hand it's possible to listen to him for a long time without discerning any flash of a unique style, the kind of thing that separates the guys who hit the charts from the ones who hit the wedding and bar mitzvah circuit and stay there. This, his second release, is slickly produced by Clif Magness and Glen Ballard. It includes an effective duet with Valeria Carter, Love Can Take Us All the Way, and a bubbly, Caribbean-tinged Diane Warren-Jeff Lorber song, Lighting Up the Night. There is nothing here to really take exception to, and nobody is going to ask where the beefcake is. But Wagner is so inexpressive it's occasionally tempting to wonder about the whereabouts of the LP's heart. (Qwest)
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