Picks and Pans Review: Southland of the Heart
If you remember Muldaur solely from "Midnight at the Oasis," her pop-smart 1974 Top 10 hit, you'd better sit down. Her latest album is no jaunty trot along memory lane; Muldaur, 54, has got the blues. She hasn't undergone any divine reinvention, but once you zero in on the emotional nuances of her finely weathered drawl, you'll hear an inspired change of heart. Sometimes Muldaur packages her metamorphosis too neatly: The front-porch snapshot on the CD cover seems contrived to position her as a down-home country mama, and her sassy strut on "Ring Me Up" and her jazzy purr on "Latersville" are stylistic devices that don't convey much from-the-gut soul. But when she stops being a slave to technique and focuses on universal feelings—weary nostalgia on the title cut, hopeful despair on "One Short Life"—her voice becomes an oasis for troubled souls. (Telarc Blues)
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