Stephanie Zacharek
May 22, 1992 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Eleven Kinds of Loneliness

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
performer
Tanita Tikaram
Producers
Reprise Records
genre
Pop

We gave it a C

On 1991’s Everybody’s Angel, Tanita Tikaram showed a little chutzpah by going head-to-head against a gutsy horn section, and her throaty, masculine-sounding vocals helped keep the record’s half-baked lyrics grounded. But what passed for sensible earthiness then now sounds like affected world-weariness made even more maddening by Tikaram’s inability to enunciate. With song after song she sounds as if she’s singing through tears, her lower lip quivering out of control. It’s a chore to decipher the lyrics, and when you do, you discover they’re too overburdened by melodrama to be moving. Tikaram emerges from her lethargy only on ”Trouble,” where her smoky voice tangos with lonely spaghetti-Western guitars. The song is a nagging intimation of what Tikaram could do if only she would stop the tears that douse her fire and smudge her consonants. C

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