POSSIBLEDebbie Gibson (Atlantic 82167)Perky...

ANYTHING IS

November 23, 1990|By J.D. Considine | J.D. Considine,Sun Pop Music Critic

ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE

Debbie Gibson (Atlantic 82167)

Perky, personable and irrepressibly optimistic, Debbie Gibson is undoubtedly the nicest young lady in pop music today, a teen idol to make any mother proud. And such a good influence -- why, just look at all the positive messages put forth in "Anything Is Possible." She wants her listeners to "Try," urges them to "Stand Your Ground," lashes out against "Negative Energy," and even raps (get down, girl!) about positive thinking in "One Step Ahead." So just ignore those critical sourpusses who complain that our Debbie's singing is second-rate, or that her melodies are dull and predictable; they can get their cheap thrills from that hussy Madonna. But if what you want is clean, safe, up-with-people pop, you know where you'll find it.

THE FUTURE

Guy (MCA 10115)

When Guy first burst onto the scene two years ago, the trio's soulful harmonies and muscular groove were a delightful surprise. That, of course, was before bandleader Teddy Riley -- one of the architects of the new jack swing sound -- had lent his production and remix skills to everybody from Bobby Brown to Heavy D to Soul II Soul. But even if the sound of "The Future" isn't quite the revelation the band's debut was, it's just as enjoyable, from the rap-tinged "Do Me Right" to the house-rocking "Teddy's Jam 2." Better still, the band even manages to expand upon its approach, thanks to the wicked, Prince-style "D-O-G Me Out" and a tender remake of the Gap Band's "Yearning for Your Love."

LOVE IN A SMALL TOWN

K. T. Oslin (RCA 2365)

As a songwriter, K. T. Oslin is definitely one-of-a-kind, someone who understands both the hallowed traditions of country music and the constant changes that crop up in day-to-day life. Which is probably why the songs on "Love In a Small Town" seem so moving. Instead of the usual done-me-wrong country cliches, her love songs are peopled with believable characters in recognizable situations, like the young woman who loves only "Cornell Crawford" or the self-deceiving lonelyhearts of "Mary and Willi." But Oslin is at her best when jTC describing the familiar vagaries of love, and from the lazy romance of "Oo-Wee" to the mournful desperation of "Still on My Mind," this album never misses the mark. What makes a jazz album great isn't the brilliance of the soloists, but the cohesiveness of the ensemble, for without a strong sense of community, the performers may as well be talking to themselves. Just ask bassist Dave Holland. As he shows with "Extensions," the secret is working with musicians whose sound is both distinctive and complementary, and his "Extensions" crew -- saxophonist Steve Coleman, guitarist Kevin Eubanks and drummer Marvin "Smitty" Smith -- is a perfect match. But the real excitement comes from the band's ability to move as one, and on tunes like "Black Hole" or "Nemesis," this ensemble swings as if joined at the hip.

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