September 09, 1996 12:00 PM

Tina Turner

Turner’s gritty singing voice, like her legs, seems to improve as she gets older. So does her professional reputation. At 56, the high priestess of rocking soul has cultivated an impressive circle of musical friends. Her first studio album in seven years features contributions from U2’s Bono and the Edge, Sheryl Crow, Sting and even actor Antonio Banderas, whose steamy monologue (in Spanish) on the title song is more convincing than his recent film performances.

But aside from “Something Beautiful Remains” and “Confidential,” a pair of coolly seductive tracks, Turner has difficulty finding a perfect match for her voice. While the singer connected so naturally with other people’s songs on 1984’s Private Dancer that each one seemed written with her in mind, her vocal style sometimes sounds too steely to effectively convey the repressed pain of John Waite’s “Missing You” or the desperation of Massive Attack’s “Unfinished Sympathy.” Turner shrieks and vamps her way through both tunes as if her supposedly broken heart is actually made of stone. (Virgin)

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