November 02, 1998 12:00 PM

Savannah Taylor

(Ichiban International)

Taylor, who was raised near Erie, Pa., and studied classical piano for eight years, deserves a hit with this debut country album. She has a rich, deep voice variously reminiscent of Cher, Mary Chapin Carpenter and Anita O’Day, and she and her producers picked their material shrewdly. The most inspired choice was the Roy Orbison-Joe Melson song “Crying,” a country-pop classic to which Taylor lends real emotion. The mix also includes William Wilkinson’s glibly clever “One Two-Timer Too Many,” the pointed “Before You Lie” by Nashville’s Rodgers and Hammerstein, Gary Burr and Bob McDill, and a bluesy, swingy “Look Deep.” Taylor, 34, seems to have a good time singing, and she shares that experience with listeners.

Bottom Line: Talented northerner takes a nice trip to the country

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