Bonnie Tyler

Free Spirit

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Bonnie Tyler returned in the mid-1990s after a long hiatus with Free Spirit, her first U.S. release in years, although foreign releases have kept her somewhat in the European spotlight. Her throaty voice sounded as raspy and smoky as ever, (reminiscent of Kim Carnes or a female Rod Stewart), which is what made Bonnie Tyler so unique. Several songs on this album rate about average, but there are several shining moments which should have brought this set, from such an engaging singer, much more attention than the minimal it received. To begin with, her rendition of "Making Love out of Nothing at All," the early-1980s Air Supply hit, is fantastic, clocking in at nearly eight minutes, and seems perfectly suited for her voice. Their version was already great, but hers is awesome. The album's first single (which went nowhere) was a dance remake of the Meat Loaf hit "Two Out of Three Ain't Bad," and the upbeat treatment sends the song in a whole different, and entirely appealing, direction. Her performance is truly passionate, and makes for a song that would have sounded fantastic on the radio as well as in a nightclub. Her blown-up rendition of "Bridge Over Troubled Water" is perhaps a little too much for some, and may reach the point where her asset becomes a liability. When she sings in an understated manner, such as the intimate "Time Mends a Broken Heart," the lovely "What You Got," and the appealing power ballad "All Night to Know You," the results are just as good, if not better. There are some low points, especially the obnoxious and tacky "Sexual Device" and "Driving Me Wild," both which recall the worst of bad 1980s hair metal. Despite these pitfalls, this album has some great moments, and when she shines, she becomes a "free spirit."

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