Album Review

Linda Ronstadt- Get Closer
Stereo Review, February 1983
review by Noel Coppage
There aren't many pop singers who can do as many things as well as Linda Ronstadt can. Her new Asylum album, "Get Closer," almost seems designed to demonstrate that, ranging as it does from hard rock through a number of "singer's songs" to country harmonies with Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris. The vocals are well nigh terrific throughout. Ronstadt never lets a difficult note seem difficult, and her ideas about when and how to decorate a phrase are impeccable. A couple of the rockers, the title song, and People Gonna Talk have nothing but good singing going for them. They are balanced, however, by Kate McGarrigle's difficult-to-sing (not that you'd suspect it from this rendition) Talk to Me of Mendocino and by The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, which Jimmy Webb wrote in 1974 and which is his best song since his Wichita Lineman days.

Other high spots are the off-beat Mr. Radio, written in 1976 by Roderick Taylor but with a Depression-era romantic attitude about bringing a new radio home to the farm, the country-like Sometimes You Just Can't Win, written by Smokey Stover in 1962, and Parton's My Blue Tears. There are also some soaring vocals on a Joe South tune and a so-so duet with James Taylor. Kind of a strange little program. Ronstadt's eclecticism this time is more quirky than trendy, but her voice is great.

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