Picks and Pans Review: On Down the Line

updated 06/25/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/25/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Patty Loveless

Loveless has in fairly quiet fashion established herself among the preeminent women country singers of her generation (she's 33), and this album effectively demonstrates just how she's done it.

One is her astute choice of material. The 10 songs here include tunes by such reliable country composers as Paul Kennerley (who co-wrote Loveless's 1988 hit "Blue Side of Town"). Karen Brooks, Wendy Waldman and the duo of Matraca Berg and Ronnie Samoset, whose "I'm That Kind of Girl" allows Loveless to thus define herself: "I ain't the woman in red/I ain't the girl next door/But if someone in the middle's what you're looking for/I'm that kind of girl."

Loveless performs these songs, which range from the mildly rock-tinged (the title track, for example) to Kennerley's archetypal sleeve-gnawer "I've Got to Stop Loving You (and Start Living Again)," with a nonengineered, raw-voiced style. She changed the spelling of her last name (from Lovelace), but other than that, the woman is the straight goods. (MCA)

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