Benatar can't do justice to first-rate blues material
Pat Benatar (Chrysalis 21805)
There's nothing wrong with an established pop star wanting to strike out in a new direction. Linda Ronstadt, for instance, earned considerable acclaim for her album of Mexican songs, while Robert Plant's return to roots with the Honeydrippers was a major hit. Unfortunately, not every artist's attempt at reinvention pans out; some end up as hopelessly inept as Pat Benatar's botch-of-the-blues album, "True Love." Benatar's backing band (the redoubtable Roomful of Blues) is first rate, and her choice of material is excellent. But as a blues-belter, she's all form and no content, which leaves the album sounding about as soulful as baloney on white bread.
TIME AFTER TIME
Timmy T. (Quality 5103)
Just as synthesizers and samplers are slowly replacing the guitar as pop music's instrument of choice, so too is garage rock giving way to the home-studio sound of basement pop. Just listen to "Time After Time," the unexpectedly successful debut of Timmy T. With its tinny electronics and decidedly low-tech sound, the album has the same raw edges and unpolished vitality of great garage rock -- except that instead of being based on blues and rock, Timmy T.'s sound takes from house music and synth pop. Yet despite an obvious affinity for dance music, Timmy T. only really comes into his own with ballads, particularly the heartfelt "One More Try."