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Picks and Pans Review: Born for You

updated 05/29/2000 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/29/2000 01:00AM

Kathie Lee Gifford (On the Lamb)

With none of her usual perkiness and not a word about kids Cody and Cassidy, hubby Frank or even Reege, Kathie Lee drops her coquettish TV schtick and proves herself an adept, even understated vocalist on this cycle of show tunes and pop standards about love's ebb and flow. The arrangements will not be everyone's cup of mocha; even Van Morrison's classic "Moondance" is denuded of its backbeat, and the syrup can slow things to a Lawrence Welk pace. But Gifford tells a moving love story here through songs like Joni Mitchell's "Circle Game" and tunes from Funny Girl, Fiddler on the Roof and The Fantastiks. Of course, Kathie Lee cannot resist good gossip, even when it's about herself. "Only My Pillow Knows," which she cowrote, alludes to marital bumps with Frank. "There is no chasm so steep as betrayal," she sings with surprising forthrightness, "no damage so deep to a heart."

Bottom Line: Real emotion amid the schmaltz

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