Picks and Pans Review: Tear Down These Walls

UPDATED 04/11/1988 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 04/11/1988 at 01:00 AM EDT

Billy Ocean

How do you account for the success of Billy Ocean? At most he has a nice tonality, fruity and orotund, belying his Caribbean heritage. Yet over the past few years he's become a star. It's like a woman who's basically "Miss Congeniality" winning a major beauty contest. All right, credit good material, an acquisitional streak that continues with Tear Down These Walls. This album is livelier in spirit than its immediate predecessor, although considerably more predictable than anything Ocean has turned out to this point. Robert John "Mutt" Lange produced and co-wrote the most boundingly bright offerings, the title track and Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car (a song that takes its inspiration from a studio ad-lib by Ringo during his 1974 recording of You're Sixteen.) Otherwise there's not that much to crow about, just a slick, professional album. Why would this unlikely star tinker with a formula that works? (Arista)

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