Picks and Pans Review: Other Voices

updated 07/30/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/30/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Paul Young

One of Britain's most intriguing talent exports in the '80s, Young has a canny voice. Its tortured, yearning timbre puts him in strong company: the English rock tradition of Rod Stewart and Paul Rodgers.

But after an absence of four years, Young has returned with a surprisingly spotty project. The album's big failing is that his voice often sounds timid, thinner and more limited in range. It doesn't help when he applies that diminished instrument to such luster-less pop songs as "Together" and "Heaven Can Wait" or to overproduced bombast like "Our Time Has Come."

Some tracks live up to the memory of Young past, such as the happily unadorned cover of the Chi-Lites' "Oh Girl" and the sly soul of Bobby Womack-Truman Thomas's "Stop on By," sung with Chaka Khan.

While this doesn't add up to an album, Young finishes well with the plaintive "Calling You" by Bob Telson. Let us cleave to that song as a measure of what Young has been and is capable of and hope for better days. (Columbia)

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