Picks and Pans Review: A Quiet Storm

updated 09/03/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/03/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Marlene VerPlanck

Marlene VerPlanck has a very nice voice and this is a very pleasant album. Take this as praise and take this as faint damnation. A former jingle singer, VerPlanck has the kind of voice one expects from the chanteuse in a movie nightclub scene. It's fine and all that, but not a big enough deal to distract the audience's attention from the stars.

VerPlanck effectively plays to her strengths in the up-tempo numbers: She offers a buoyant, very sprightly, well-scatted version of "I Wished on the Moon." "Things Are Looking Up," a too rarely heard Gershwin song from Damsel in Distress, is another winner, along with "I Love to Dance," a little gem from the quickly aborted 1975 musical Ballroom, which VerPlanck pairs to good effect with Jimmy Van Heusen's "The Last Dance."

But when the subject turns to ballads, VerPlanck's voice tends to lose considerable lilt and tilts toward a sound that, unhappily, is not unlike that of Eydie Gorme. The accompanying interpretations are mannered, as in the case of a slowed-down version of "Taking a Chance on Love," or unthought out, as in "Dream Dancing," a Cole Porter song whose lyrics are given a far too casual rendering. She redeems herself on—in this case—the inaccurately titled "I've Got Just About Everything." In fact, VerPlanck has just about half. (Audiophile)

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