Picks and Pans Review: Count Three & Pray
Berlin has been divided since the group's last record in 1984. Once a sextet, it is now a trio, but its mainstays, lead singer Terri Nunn and bassist John Crawford, are still around. While three different outside producers worked on this album and it took more than a year to finish, the result is more indifferent than anything else. Even the band's tone of semi-despair, which was distinctive if not heartwarming, seems to have been lost. A number of guitar stars were brought in to beef up the instruments—Ted Nugent, Elliot Easton and David Gilmour among them—and their contributions stand out more often than Nunn's tight, sometimes sterile singing. If the hit single off the Top Gun sound track, Take My Breath Away, is New Wave schmaltz, at least Nunn seems to work up a little feeling. That's also true on Sex Me, Talk Me, which isn't the numskull heavy-metal blaster its title makes it seem, because of Richard Niles's swirly synth-string orchestration. Most of the time, though, Nunn's attention, if not her heart, seems elsewhere. There may be an identity crisis going on here. The next thing you know the band will be calling itself Frankfurt or Munich. (Geffen)
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