Picks and Pans Review: Twice the Love

updated 10/24/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/24/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT

George Benson

With his abundant musical gifts, it's a wonder that George Benson hasn't found more success. He's got a super-slick, inviting voice and plays guitar like Wes Montgomery with a rocket in his pocket. Maybe his listening audience is just confused, since Benson is facile in so many styles from pop to jazz standards to R & B. This time, adopting the now-popular multi-producer strategy (Jay Graydon, Dennis Lambert, Preston Glass, Wayne Brathwaite and Barry Eastmond), George shoots for a soulful contemporary crooner sound. As usual, he hits the mark. The only appreciable problem with Twice the Love is that none of these producers has coaxed out of Benson the type of robust, committed vocals that he can deliver. Even when he's singing somewhat tentatively, Benson is still a pleasure to listen to, as on the ballads Starting All Over and Stephanie. There have been albums on which Benson has concealed his guitar-playing wizardry; here it shines on such tracks as Tender Love, Good Habit and Curtis May-field's Let's Do It Again. Benson may not be blazing any new trails, but he moves down this R & Beaten path with appealing zest, and he will probably be confounding us with his mercurial music for decades to come. (Warner Bros.)

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