Picks and Pans Review: Tennessee Woman

updated 04/23/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 04/23/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Tanya Tucker

Having spent her youth sowing enough wild oats to fill up a few boxcars with Cheerios, Tucker appears to be, if not mellowing, kicking up her heels in more seemly fashion.

This nicely rounded album rocks a bit, displays its womanly defiance a bit and even wallows a bit in that respectable old country music pastime, self-pity, all in most musical fashion.

Tucker rings in contributions from many of Nashville's most prolific and able songwriters, including Paul Overstreet, Chris Waters, Tom Shapiro, Paul Kennerley and Don Schlitz. Paul Davis's "Goodbye Baby" is on the crass side—"Everybody knows/ She's been getting some on the side"—but for the most part the tunes are literate and effective, especially David Powelson's painfully romantic "As Long as There's a Heartbeat."

While T. Graham Brown gruffs in for a lively duet on "Don't Go Out Without Him," for the most part Tucker is on her own, happily flaunting and flouting. She has an apparent nostalgic connection to Elvis Presley, having named her new daughter after him (the Presley part, not the Elvis) last year. And there are some hints of his singing style in her music too, a blend of aggressiveness and sentiment that allows her to keep springing enjoyable surprises. (Capitol)

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