Picks and Pans Review: Little Love Letters

updated 08/09/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/09/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Carlene Carter

Sure, her mom is June Carter and her stepdad is Johnny Cash. And her videos gel airplay on the Nashville Network. And she lives in Tenessee. But Carter, bottom line, is a skilled pop-rock singer (who cowrites most of her songs) and her latest record is Top 40 fine.

Letters has its share of twang and jangle, but what makes it so invigorating are up-tempo, hook-heavy tunes like "Ever)-Little Thing" and "I Love You 'Cause I Want To." They are little love letters special-deliveried by Carter's gutsy growl and relentlessly happy guitar riffs. "Unbreakable Heart," a sweet, slow and sad acoustic ballad by former Tom Petty keyboardist Benmont Tench (part of the sharp Letters core band), adds a welcome touch of rocking-chair-on-a-dusty-porch soul. (Giant)

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