After dozens of albums, Judy Collins’ personality — sensitive, strong, forthright — has become as familiar as her unmistakable soprano. Unlike many of her contemporaries, the onetime folksinger has grown gracefully into middle age, a steady, dignified voice unaffected by shifting fashions.
Always more adept at finding than writing great material (Fires of Eden includes a stately version of the Hollies’ 1974 ”The Air That I Breathe”), Collins nonetheless composed ”The Blizzard,” an engrossing romantic narrative that begins and ends the album. In collab-oration with David Buskin and Robin Batteau, she also wrote ”Home Before Dark,” a tender autobiographical re- flection, in addition to some conscientious musings on war, ecology, and the homeless. This refined album won’t win any awards for trendiness, but it does provide an intelligent, soothing sound track for those who remember more of the ’60s than just Woodstock. B