Big Town From the fiery a cappella intro to this debut album, Cleveland proves herself a vocal force to be reckoned with — a gritty, full-throated singer… Big Town From the fiery a cappella intro to this debut album, Cleveland proves herself a vocal force to be reckoned with — a gritty, full-throated singer… Ashley Cleveland R&B
Music Review

Big Town (1991)

EW's GRADE
C+

Details Lead Performance: Ashley Cleveland; Genre: R&B

From the fiery a cappella intro to this debut album, Cleveland proves herself a vocal force to be reckoned with — a gritty, full-throated singer whose delivery clearly owes much to gospel and blues influences. Unfortunately, she tends to write overly melodramatic numbers in the time-honored tradition of the tough broad with a heart. Not that Cleveland doesn't know her way around a rock hook: ''Big Town'' transcends lyrics like ''I gave a few years to fantasy/And a few more to drugs and drinkin''' with an infectious, guitar-driven refrain, and the subdued verses of ''Angel'' build to a bright, soaring chorus. Still, Cleveland's relentless soul searching grows tiresome. By the time the last song finally grinds to a halt, Big Town has proven that even the most gifted rookies often swing too hard their first time at bat. C+

Originally posted Apr 12, 1991 Published in issue #61 Apr 12, 1991 Order article reprints
Advertisement

Today's Most Popular

From Our Partners