Picks and Pans Review: Rvs Iii

updated 02/12/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/12/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

Ricky Van Shelton

Maybe the Curse of the Roman Numerated Sequel, that bane of moviegoers everywhere, is trying to spin itself off into the record business. This third album by Van Shelton has exactly the routine, easy-way-out quality that so many film IIs and IIIs demonstrate.

Imitation—albeit self-imitation—seems to have replaced both inspiration and perspiration, so that while such songs as Jan Crutchfields's "Statue of a Fool" and Margaret Ann Rich's "Life's Little Ups and Downs" are pleasant enough, there's nothing on this album to get excited about. Even Van Shelton's cover of the old Roy Orbison tune "Oh Pretty Woman" brings out the dated aspects of that song, musically as well as sociologically (although "Oh Intelligent Woman" doesn't sound exactly right, either, does it?).

Van Shelton sounds as smooth and cozy as he did on his first two albums. It's the spirit that's missing, a deficiency that could easily be remedied on his next, or IVth, album. (Columbia)

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