Picks and Pans Review: Warm and Tender

updated 12/04/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/04/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST

Olivia Newton-John

The combination of Newton-John's often ethereal-sounding voice and super-sweetie-pie songs could have made this album into the musical equivalent of a hyperglycemia attack. But she tempers the material with just enough restraint—recognizing, for instance, that nobody needs to be reminded of how dreamy a tune "Over the Rainbow" is—and makes this into a long lullaby as soothing as its title suggests.

The tunes include "When You Wish Upon a Star" (sung with real attention to its lyrics), "The Twelfth of Never" (the old Johnny Mathis hit) and the Kern-Fields standard "The Way You Look Tonight," usually given a romantic interpretation but perfectly serviceable, as Newton-John proves, in a parent-child orientation.

There are also brief versions of "Rock-A-Bye Baby," "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star," and "Brahms Lullaby." Newton-John wrote the title song's lyrics for her daughter, who, the next time Mom gets on her case for not eating her peas, ought to quote these lines: "All my life I've waited for the angel you are/ You're the dream that I knew you'd be/ And I love you completely my Chloe/ Chloe."

So all right, the restraint breaks down from time to time. Newton-John, having bent herself out of shape once or twice trying to be a sex bomb, is certainly far more appealing when she goes all out for motherhood. (Geffen)

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