Picks and Pans Review: Black Velvet

updated 05/28/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/28/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Robin Lee

Circumstances seem to have been conspiring a little against Lee's first major album release. The title track is the very same Chris Ward-David Tyson tune Canadian Alannah Myles has had a hit with; another song on the album, Bonnie Hayes's bluesy "Love Letter," is the same one Bonnie Raitt sang so smartly on Nick of Time.

Lee has, as it develops, turned what could have been an unhappy coincidence into a virtue, showing that she can be as tantalizing as Raitt and as sultry (without trying quite so hard) as Myles.

Most of the rest of this album tends toward mainstream country (Lee was born in Nashville), including such cleverly turned songs as "Till I Get It Right" (Wall Aldridge-Lisa Angelle), as in "I'm going to keep on leavin' you/ Till I get it right." Lee rarely imposes herself on any of these songs. At times it might be a better idea if she did impose herself more, in fact. What she does do well, though, is bring out the best in her material, like a good cook who makes every morsel of food count. (Atlantic)

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