January 27, 1997 12:00 PM

Natalie Cole

It is really nice that Natalie’s heart so utterly belongs to Daddy. Through the good offices of technology, she sang with him on the much vaunted nostalgia album Unforgettable with Love. Now, Natalie, Nat and the machines are at it again. On Stardust father and daughter sing “together” on “When I Fall in Love,” and Nat—though dead since 1965—supplies the organ accompaniment on Natalie’s cover of “Let’s Face the Music and Dance.” Some think this is touching; others call it a triumph of technology over art; the truly churlish hold Natalie responsible for Frank Sinatra’s Duets and Duets II.

Cole is a gifted performer, her voice an arresting mix of cream and crinoline rustle. She ought to stop singing with her father—it’s creepy, especially when we’re talking love songs—and, frankly, she ought to stop singing songs that are so closely associated with him, like “Where Can I Go Without You” and “Let’s Face the Music and Dance.” She does just fine on her own: While Stardust offers up a coy, overproduced “Teach Me Tonight,” it also includes a meltingly lovely “There’s a Lull in My Life,” a wistful, nicely understated take on “He Was Too Good to Me,” and a marvelously expressive, haunting rendition of the Jobim classic “Dindi.” (Elektra)

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