Picks and Pans Review: Young Man Running

updated 08/22/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/22/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Corey Hart

Canadian Corey Hart first gained attention in 1984 with his edgy techno-rock hit, Sunglasses at Night. Subsequently, he seems to have positioned himself as an overwrought balladeer, as on his recent cover of Elvis' Can't Help Falling in Love. Young Man Running, his best effort to date, strikes a convincing balance between those two styles. It is full of steady, if unspectacular, mid-tempo rockers. On the best of these, Truth Will Set You Free and Don't Take Me to the Racetrack, both the music and Hart's breathy delivery are reminiscent of Sting's work with the Police. Hart is still hard to swallow when he slows the pace to a crawl, as on Chase the Sun and Crossroad Caravan. On ballads like this, he has a counterproductive habit of trying to bowl you over with the sheer depth of feeling in his quakey voice. He does deserve credit for vocal restraint on the other slow song, Still in Love. In fact, he deserves credit for the whole album. While still depending too much on his voice to dominate an arrangement—a tactic that rarely works in rock—the fact is that with this album, Hart, who until now seemed a potentially lost cause, has found himself. (EMI-Manhattan)

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