Picks and Pans Review: Every Turn of the World

updated 12/16/1985 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/16/1985 AT 01:00 AM EST

Christopher Cross

Manilow is 39 and has released 12 studio albums. This is only the third album for Cross, yet he could teach Manilow a few things. Produced, as Cross's first two LPs were, by Michael Omartian, it has snap, variety and wit; it never begs to be loved but earns affection. On one track, Love Found a Home, Cross sounds like an ex-officio Beach Boy. He and his backup singers even sound like the Wilsons and Mike Love (Carl Wilson and Cross are friends), and the tone of loose good-time fun is unmistakable. The album's hit single, Charm the Snake, is full of jumpy energy that has an appropriate bite, and Cross's lyrics are cynical enough to disarm the frothy mood: "You gotta be smooth, you gotta be quick/I think it just might help/To be a little bit sick/You know the bite can't cut you/If the skin is thick." While Cross's voice won't shatter any glasses, he uses what he has adroitly, not pretending to be anything he isn't, riding the arrangements without getting submerged. Any followers Cross lost with his neither-here-nor-there second album, Another Page, in 1983, ought to come flocking back to this most listenable, danceable bit of pop art. (Warner Bros.)

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