Dave Marsh
May 03, 1991 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Time Love & Tenderness

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
performer
Michael Bolton
genre
Pop

We gave it a D-

Michael Bolton has outstripped longtime record-holder Linda Ronstadt as the least sensitive interpreter of R&B songs ever to go platinum. Time Love & Tenderness‘ ham-handed rendition of the Percy Sledge classic ”When a Man Loves a Woman” ranks in wretched excess of phrasing and absence of emotional substance with the 1988 Bolton botch of Otis Redding’s ”(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay.” Bolton’s singing amounts to gimmicks — quick falsetto shrieks, occasional gruff huffs — that replicate soul mannerisms without a hint of that music’s power for re-creating human feeling. His ”originals” (that is, previously unrecorded formula numbers) are laden with hooks, but what makes each memorable is just what makes them annoying. Bolton does nothing more than show off. The gushing is nonstop; the feeling never gets started. D-

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