November 19, 1990 12:00 PM

Nancy Wilson

Someone needs to take Wilson aside and tell her to stop it, just stop it. Not stop singing, for heaven’s sake, but stop all that has been clogging her recent performances—the overheld notes, the breathiness that makes her sound like a bellows, the self-indulgent ornamentation.

Her new album is a case in point. The material is a terrific mix of the seldom heard—”For Heaven’s Sake,” “Darn That Dream”—and more familiar standards such as “Glad to Be Unhappy” and “I Thought About You.” What is annoying is that Wilson sings straight and simple just enough to remind fans just how good she is, why she could so easily be confused with a cello.

Why then does she have to finish off “Happiness Is Just a Thing Called Joe” with “Joe-O, Joe-O, Joe-O”? Why the stretched out “Till you’re walking beeesiiiiide me” in “I’ll Walk Alone”? Why does she have to ruin what starts out as a pianissimo and persuasive “But Beautiful” with “I’d neverrrr let you go/And that would beeeeeee/But beautiful I know”? She redeems herself with “I Thought About You,” only to get far too breathy, far too kittenish on “Do It Again.” No, don’t do that again. (Capitol)

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