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Juice Newton: Can't Wait All Night/Old Flame/Emotion *

Album Notes

BGO's 2015 three-fer contains Juice Newton's first three albums for RCA: 1984's Can't Wait All Night, 1986's Old Flame, and 1987's Emotion. Can't Wait All Night is a synth-laden crossover attempt that contains some period charm, particularly on the diluted New Wave of its first single "A Little Love," but generally it's a confused record, flitting between adult contemporary pop and overblown roots rock. Old Flame works a lot better because it's firmly a contemporary country album. It still has synths and it has pop/rock covers -- Gerry Rafferty's "Stuck in the Middle with You" sits next to the Byrds' "Feel a Whole Lot Better" -- but it's unabashedly aimed straight down the middle of 1986 country radio and is all the better for it. Emotion veers a little bit closer to adult contemporary material, a move that makes the livelier material, such as the rockabilly "Tell Me Trouble" and "Walkin' Into Trouble," stand out, but it also makes it somewhat muddled because the soft rock never sounds as sharp as the faster moments. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine



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