November 04, 1985 12:00 PM

Kenny Rogers

Rogers’ casual, rough-hewn sound can still be appealing, though it somehow seems less appropriate to the hard-core pop sounds he is now striving for. (This album was produced by ex-Beatle associate George Martin; Rogers uses up producers faster than George Steinbrenner uses up managers.) There are some pleasant tunes, especially the title track and Tomb of the Unknown Love, both by Michael Smotherman, and I Can’t Believe Your Eyes by Troy Seals and Graham Lyle. Our Perfect Song by David Briggs and Linda Thompson Jenner—Elvis’ ex-flame and Bruce Jenner’s wife—isn’t bad either. Lively instrumental work is contributed by flutist James Galway, guitarist Stanley Jordan and saxophonist Gary Herbig. It’s disconcerting, however, to hear Rogers strain as much as he does on this album. The effort is most noticeable on the disastrously up-tempo I Don’t Wanna Have To Worry, which would have been more suitable for Luther Vandross or Phil Collins, soul not being Kenny’s strong point. But Rogers often seems to be trying to stretch his vocal range far past its limits. It makes a listener want to say, “It’s all right, Kenny; we like you. Take it easy.” (RCA)

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