Picks and Pans Review: Songs

updated 10/24/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/24/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Luther Vandross

This singer of original love songs, whose nine previous platinum and double-platinum discs have launched a million candlelit dinners, now tries something different: rerecording other people's well-known pop hits.

Though Vandross caresses every note with his velvety voice, echoed by the weeping strings of the London Symphony Orchestra, he fails to sweep listeners off their feet—his safe, overly polished style isn't enough to revive these very tired tunes. His interpretation of "The Impossible Dream" is merely predictable, and his rendition of "Hello" compares badly with the distinctive original by Lionel Richie. He fares better on the soothing "Killing Me Softly," which he first performed as a backup singer for Roberta Flack. But this mostly stale collection will give goosebumps only to hard-core romantics who melt at the mere sound of Van-dross's rich, mellow voice. (Epic)

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