Picks and Pans Review: High Wire

updated 02/26/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/26/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

Ernie Isley

The youngest of the singing Isley Brothers, Ernie helped revitalize the group's career in the 70s with his groovy guitar pyrotechnics on such hits as "Who's That Lady?" He later played with the '80s Isley offshoot Isley-Jasper-Isley. On his first solo album, Ernie slides sleekly along on a distinctive pop-funk style, a sound with a boisterous bottom and a frothy top. The resulting music is both strong and sweet.

Isley's voice is pleasing but not too muscular. Unabetted, it can't keep the gentlest songs here, such as "Love Situation," out of the realm of the forgettable. But when he combines his singing with coruscating flashes of that sweetly screaming guitar, on songs like "Rising from the Ashes" and "Back to Square One," it's irresistible. High Wire is nothing but a natural delight. (Elektra)

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