Picks and Pans Review: New Beginning

updated 11/27/1995 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/27/1995 AT 01:00 AM EST

Tracy Chapman

When she arrived on the pop landscape in the late '80s, wielding her guitar like a weapon, Tracy Chapman quickly established herself as a folkie crusader. Seven years later, she's at it again. The problem with constantly singing about problems, though, is that it can get old fast, especially if there is little melodic or lyrical wit to compensate for so much sad content. A 7-minute song titled "The Rape of the World," about environmental atrocities, better at least be fun to sing; in this case, it's not even hummable. The album's best song, "Give Me One Reason," a wonderful bluesy ditty about tortured love, comes too late to rescue this effort. This is the right album for that one-night-in-a-thousand when you're feeling too darn happy and want to do something about it. (Elektra)

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