Picks and Pans Review: Everlasting

updated 09/07/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/07/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Natalie Cole

It's damning with faint praise, of course, to call this the best disco-dance-funk-Latin-jazz-mood-synth-pop-rock album in a long time. Cole is more than just eclectic, though. She is able now to negotiate entertaining compromises between her voice and most pop music styles. At its worst moments, such as the empty Reggie Calloway/B. Lipscomb tune, I'm the One, this album has a Las Vegasy glare, but much of the LP provides pleasant surprises. The biggest and best is a funked-up treatment of Bruce Springsteen's Pink Cadillac, with producer Dennis Lambert providing the groove and Cole the heat. At the opposite extreme, she updates When I Fall in Love, the Edward Heyman/Victor Young ballad her father, Nat, sang; the tempo is picked up just a little without destroying the mood. Cole and her brother Eddie wrote More Than the Stars, which they turn into a jazz ballad that gives Natalie a chance to sound like Carmen McRae and allows José Feliciano to scat quietly. Trying to provide something for everyone can lead to a record that is nothing for anyone, but in this case Cole manages a series of graceful leaps from style to style, never losing the delicate touch that is the most appealing part of her singing. (Manhattan)

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