May 12, 1997 12:00 PM

Lori Carson

One of the great mysteries in pop music (apart from the success of John Tesh) is why Carson isn’t a bigger star. Her pensive, velvety voice comes vibrantly to life in all kinds of’ settings: alternative-rock tunes, jazz arrangements, even slow-boiling love songs, and she never has to scream to get the emotional spigot flowing. Her voice has a lonesome, laid-back charm that blends the weary soulfulness of Sade with the youthful spunk of Jewel.

Although Carson already has two fine solo albums under her belt, she’s still best known for her vocal work on-two albums by the Golden Palominos. On Everything I Touch, a rambling soft-rock collection recorded in the bedroom of her Manhattan apartment with just a guitar, accordion and a few other acoustic instruments, she makes her best bid at scoring some long overdue recognition. These unadorned songs about loneliness, loss and the unpredictability of love allow her radiant voice to shine through. In this age of studio trickery, it’s refreshing to hear a real singer. (Restless)

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