September 09, 1985 12:00 PM

Gino Vanelli

It’s been a long time between appearances for Vannelli, whose last studio album was Nightwalker in 1981. He was one of the best ballad singers of the ’70s; his hits I Just Wanna Stop and Living Inside Myself tugged at heartstrings because of Vannelli’s love-battered voice. On this comeback album he has gone off on a tangent—that of the detached synthesizer singer. Gino’s brother and longtime keyboardist, Joe, has used synthesizers in the past but never with this spiky, staccato edge. Vannelli has also retained brother Ross to sing background and Jimmy Haslip of the Yellowjackets to play bass. Together with Mike Miller on guitar, they provide taut musical support for Gino’s new modernist bent. If only Vannelli had his heart in it. On Just a Motion Away and Hurts To Be in Love you can sense his crooner’s instincts yearning to break out. Instead, by aligning himself with the technopop craze, Vannelli has become just another voice in the throng. (HME)

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