Gina Arnold
October 11, 1991 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Late Night Grande Hotel

Current Status
In Season
Nanci Griffith
Folk, Country

We gave it an B

At the start of her new album we find Nanci Griffith cowering beneath the covers while the phone rings off the hook. Is Freddy stalking her? No, she’s afraid of a shadow. Griffith’s partly country persona lacks the grittier, pre-feminist, strong-woman stance of, say, Loretta Lynn or Dolly Parton: She’s more yuppie than country. Late Night Grande Hotel‘s title cut, as well as songs like ”Heaven” and ”The Sun, Moon, and Stars,” practically have a New Age point of view, and duets with Phil Everly of the Everly Brothers and faded singer-songwriter Tanita Tikaram do nothing to add weight to her lighter-than-air presence. What saves Griffith’s work is her absolutely lovely voice, and three good songs near the end of the LP that are firmly rooted in reality: ”Hometown Streets,” ”Down ‘n’ Outer,” and ”You’re One Blade Shy of a Sharp Edge,” in which Griffith disses a fat old Republican, blowing off his come-on with the blithe announcement, ”I’ll cancel you out when I go to the polls.” Word! B

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