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Picks and Pans Review: Harmony

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Anne Murray

Even when she seems to be going for a hot and heavy kind of effect, Murray comes across only slightly untamed, like a Madonna of Sunnybrook Farm. This is one cozy-sounding singer, whether she likes it or not. That’s not to say she isn’t seductive, as her duet with recent singing partner Doug Mallory on Perfect Strangers demonstrates. It’s just that the nearly disco-ized arrangement of Give Me Your Love evokes images of a little girl going around in her mother’s old prom dress. Even on the most pragmatic level it’s clear Murray is not going to knock Janet Jackson or Stacey Q off the turntables down where the strobe lights are flashing. Maybe she isn’t really a country singer, but she seemed better matched with her material when she did country-oriented songs. On this album the title song, by Mark Spiro, Tony Marty and Jack White, and Perfect Strangers, are more like it. (Capitol)