Picks and Pans Review: Sweetheart's Dance

updated 05/16/1994 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/16/1994 01:00AM

Pam Tillis

Pam Tillis has a genuinely sexy voice—a good, old-fashioned instrument à la Wanda Jackson: reedy, but appealingly so, and capable of everything from a flirty squeal to a full-throated wail. Thanks to that voice, and the intelligence behind it, Tillis is a singer on the verge of big success; if 1992's Homeward Looking Angel found her knocking on stardom's door, this latest album may unlock it. Highlights include the Spanish sway of "Mi Vida Loca (My Crazy Life);" a cover of Jackie DeShannon's 1963 "When You Walk in the Room," which beats the original with just the right mix of sugar and muscle; and the full-lilt gospel finale, "Til All the Lonely's Gone," which benefits from 82-year-old bluegrass great Bill Monroe's hot mandolin solo and a backup choir composed of Tillis's famous father, Mel, three sisters and a brother. Pam soars above them all, though, riding the album out to its end and high point. Holy smoke...this woman bums. (Arista)

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