Picks and Pans Review: Between Two Fires

updated 01/05/1987 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/05/1987 AT 01:00 AM EST

Paul Young

Young doesn't have to fight anymore for recognition as a top-of-the-line vocalist. Last year's Grammy for Every Time You Go Away took care of that. Now he's apparently trying to broaden his scope, sharing producing responsibilities with Hugh Padgham, a former Police producer, and co-writing most of his own material with keyboardist Ian Kewley and bassist Pino Palladino. The result is a more confident-sounding Young. The 30-year-old British singer has kept studio technology to a reasonable minimum, adding sparse but richly textured touches to give his third LP a grittier sound than his last release. He has surrounded himself with supporting players who seem to share his reverence for '60s-style American soul and funk. On the danceable single, Some People, and on Wedding Day, Kewley, Palladino and drummer David Palmer lay down infectious, loping rhythms reminiscent of the freewheeling, soul-rocking music of Sly Stone. Guitarist Steve Bolt's clear, ringing notes zigzag around the resonant tenor that reflects Young's interest in such soul masters as Otis Redding, Sam Cooke and Wilson Pickett. In fact Young borrows well from a range of black American music traditions, which is why Between Two Fires is as attractive as it is. (Columbia)

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