Picks and Pans Review: Thinkin' About You

updated 04/13/1998 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 04/13/1998 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Rita Coolidge

Like her contemporaries Carly Simon and Linda Ronstadt, Coolidge, 53, has developed a deeper, more emotional (and better) singing style as she has aged. So it's not surprising that the weakest track on this pop-Nashville album is the anachronistic, sexist "Shoo Rah," in which she sings about a guy who's "everybody's baby/ he breaks their hearts but always leaves them with a smile." Coolidge's maturity serves her better on the nearly gospel passion of "Without Love" and "I've Been Thinking About You." And "I'll Remember You," while it isn't the Johnny Mercer classic that served June Christy so well in the 1950s, is a substantial tune by veteran pop songwriters Laura Satterfield, Monty Byron and David Newhauser.

While this album was recorded in Nashville, Coolidge has never been that country. Her strength, as this album confirms, is soft rock and ballads. They show that she hasn't lost her sultry, insinuating way with a romantic pop song. (Innerworks)

A NATALIE IMBRUGLIA A polished newcomer explores the "Torn" regions of her heart.

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