Picks and Pans Review: City Streets

updated 04/03/1989 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 04/03/1989 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Carole King

King still has that tangy, slightly acidic voice and her on-the-mark way with pop R&B tunes. On this album, for instance, "Midnight Flyer" bounces along quite jauntily, nudged by Branford Marsalis's soprano saxophone and Jimmy Zavala's harmonica. "Sweet Life" has a similar verve. King is 48, though, and an awful lot of these songs display what sound like the romantic notions of a teenage girl—and a very naive teenage girl at that. Neither "I Can't Stop Thinking About You," for instance, or "Someone Who Believes in You" reflect much in the way of the worldly wisdom King might be expected to have accumulated by this time.

A superficial album like this seems a painful waste coming from someone with King's melodic sense and the clout to attract such high-powered back-up talent (Eric Clapton sits in on a couple of tracks too). Aging gracefully isn't easy in or out of the music business, but it's done from time to time, and King might learn from the careers of, say, her contemporaries James Taylor and Neil Sedaka, if not from such elder statespersons as Frank Sinatra and Rosemary Clooney. (Capitol)

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