June 02, 1980 12:00 PM

Charly McClain

The problem with this album is the problem with country-pop in general. It gives too little of either country or pop. McClain has a fine voice—fragile, pretty and, when singing lyrics like “Make-believe lovers can’t warm the covers,” awfully sexy. But—sorry, Charly—she isn’t yet a Ronstadt, Gayle, Parton or Murray, and so her vocal and personal strength won’t carry otherwise forgettable material. Her natural affinity seems to be in countrified themes like Sleepin’ with a Drifter and Let’s Put Our Love in Motion; she comes on warm and sweet, with a slightly ’50s rockabilly echo in her voice. (She is, after all, from Memphis.) But rock clichés don’t pull Charly through such sluggish, overarranged tunes as Stuck Right in the Middle of Your Love, with lyrics like “Here I am stuck right in the middle of your love.” McClain has aroused a lot of interest the last couple of years; now she needs more suitable material and less meandering from style to style.

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