Picks and Pans Review: Wake'em Up in Tokyo

updated 05/19/1986 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/19/1986 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Karla DeVito

DeVito has gotten heavy-handed since her previous album. But that was back in 1981, and in the interim she has gotten married (to actor Robby Benson) and had a daughter. That real-world experience could account for the grimly pessimistic tone of a number of the songs she, Benson and various collaborators wrote for this LP: "Watch the kite soar/Into the glow of the nuclear war;" "Hand over your heart/Recite the pledge/Follow the leader/Over the edge;" "People sell their buns just to make a buck/Instead of making love they just get lucky." When she gets more rambunctious and lightens up, though, DeVito is still an enjoyable pop-rock singer. She shows that on/Rocked the Boy, an amusing role-reversal tune written by Benson and Marc Blatte, and on Money Can't Buy Love. There's also an affecting reading of Joan Armatrading's hurt-filled The Weakness in Me, which suggests DeVito's talent may lie more along the lines of love-them-and-lose-them songs and less along the lines of social pretension. (A&M)

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