80 items by Stephen Holden

  • Being With You

    Being With You | ALBUM REVIEW

    Smokey Robinson is that rare pop singer whose rhapsodic lyricism hasn't diminished with approaching middle age. Indeed, time has added a metaphysical depth to his art. The postadolescent Romeo who created "The Tracks of My Tears" and...

    April 16, 1981 12:00 AM ET
  • 9 To 5 and Odd Jobs

    9 To 5 and Odd Jobs | ALBUM REVIEW

    After a string of abysmal pop records on which her kittenish treatment of fatuous material turned her into a bad joke, Dolly Parton makes an impressive comeback with 9 to 5 and Odd Jobs. Parton's power as...

    March 5, 1981 12:00 AM ET
  • Faces

    Faces | ALBUM REVIEW

    The gaudiest Earth, Wind and Fire album to date, Faces is an effervescent pop-funk pageant with lots of color and not much substance. None of its fifteen songs is as striking as "That's the Way of the...

    March 5, 1981 12:00 AM ET
  • Heartattack And Vine

    Heartattack And Vine | ALBUM REVIEW

    On Heartattack and Vine, the patron saint of America's hobo hipsters returns to the sentimental ballad style he abandoned for jazzier, less song-oriented turf after The Heart of Saturday Night. Though Tom Waits' new album sports its...

    February 5, 1981 12:00 AM ET
  • Hotter Than July

    Hotter Than July | ALBUM REVIEW

    Though smaller scaled and rougher than Songs in the Key of Life and Journey through the Secret Life of Plants, Stevie Wonder's Hotter than July is no less macrocosmic in its outlook. Only less messianic. Again, Wonder...

    February 5, 1981 12:00 AM ET
  • One-Trick Pony

    One-Trick Pony | ALBUM REVIEW

    Paul Simon's One-Trick Pony is a morose little art film about a minor Sixties pop star, Jonah Levin, who blows his only chance for a comeback by refusing to let a hack producer (played knowingly by Lou...

    October 16, 1980 12:00 AM ET
  • McCartney II

    McCartney II | ALBUM REVIEW

    McCartney II is an album of aural doodles designed for the amusement of very young children. Recorded at home, with the instruments plugged into a sixteen-track tape machine, it's a crude affair that depends more on synthesizers...

    July 24, 1980 12:00 AM ET
  • Keepin' The Summer Alive

    Keepin' The Summer Alive | ALBUM REVIEW

    Had it been released five years ago, when gasoline was cheaper, nuclear energy "safe" and punk rock only a rumor, Keepin' the Summer Alive might have given the Beach Boys one last platinum-perfect wave to ride out...

    May 15, 1980 12:00 AM ET
  • Prince

    Prince | ALBUM REVIEW

    Not only does Prince possess the most thrilling R&B falsetto since Smokey Robinson, but this nineteen-year-old. Minneapolis-bred Wunderkind is his own writer-producer and one-man band, playing synthesizer, guitar, drums and percussion. Whereas Prince's debut album (last year's...

    April 3, 1980 12:00 AM ET
  • Mad Love

    Mad Love | ALBUM REVIEW

    With its strikingly lurid pink-and-black punk graphics showing the star glowering like a hopped-up minx, Mad Love is a splashy tribute by Linda Ronstadt and producer Peter Asher to the current rock & roll revival. At the...

    April 3, 1980 12:00 AM ET
  • Victim of Love

    Victim of Love | ALBUM REVIEW

    Elton John's entry into the rock-disco sweepstakes comes a year too late to make much of an impact. Moreover, Victim of Love doesn't contain any John songs: producer Pete Bellotte, best known for his work with Donna...

    December 13, 1979 12:00 AM ET
  • Tusk


    At a cost of two years and well over a million dollars, Fleetwood Mac's Tusk represents both the last word in lavish California studio pop and a brave but tentative lurch forward by the one Seventies group...

    December 13, 1979 12:00 AM ET
  • The Glow

    The Glow | ALBUM REVIEW

    Bonnie Raitt is too gifted to make an unlistenable album, but her eagerly awaited collaboration with producer Peter Asher is a solemn bore. Asher has recorded Raitt exactly as he does Linda Ronstadt, mixing R&B oldies with...

    November 29, 1979 12:00 AM ET
  • Off The Wall

    Off The Wall | ALBUM REVIEW

    Like any an aging child star, Michael Jackson has had to grow up gracefully in public in order to survive. Until now, he's understandably clung to the remnants of his original Peter Pan of Motown image while cautiously...

    November 1, 1979 12:00 AM ET
  • Born Again

    Born Again | ALBUM REVIEW

    Randy Newman and Stephen Sondheim, two of this decade's finest songwriter-craftsmen, are both misanthropes intent on subverting the optimism generally associated with American popular music. But until their most recent works, each man took care not to...

    October 4, 1979 12:00 AM ET
  • Flag


    The James Taylor who gazes out from the gatefold of Flag is an emaciated, jaundiced Yankee eccentric glaring at us with cold, eagleeyed skepticism. The picture is almost the negative of the movie-star-glamorous photo on the cover...

    June 28, 1979 12:00 AM ET
  • Breakfast In America

    Breakfast In America | ALBUM REVIEW

    Breakfast in America is a textbook-perfect album of post-Beatles, keyboard-centered English art rock that strikes the shrewdest possible balance between quasi-symphonic classicism and rock & roll. Whereas Supertramp's earlier LPs were bogged down by swatches of meandering,...

    June 14, 1979 12:00 AM ET
  • George Harrison

    George Harrison | ALBUM REVIEW

    Time hasn't treated the individual Beatles' solo projects kindly. Probably most of John Lennon's self-advertisements were never intended to reverberate any longer than the now-defunct media myths they once exploited. Paul McCartney carries on as a singles...

    April 19, 1979 12:00 AM ET
  • Spirits Having Flown

    Spirits Having Flown | ALBUM REVIEW

    "The record the world's been waiting for," reads an ad for Spirits Having Flown, and that's not just hype, since the Bee Gees' new album represents a deliberate attempt to fashion a "global" pop. Instead of extending...

    April 5, 1979 12:00 AM ET
  • A Single Man

    A Single Man | ALBUM REVIEW

    For his first album in two years, Elton John's wiped the slate clean and exchanged longtime collaborator Bernie Taupin for War of the Worlds lyricist Gary Osborne. Instead of recording with a set band and producer Gus...

    January 25, 1979 12:00 AM ET