Barbara Mandrell

In Black & White

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In Black & White was made toward the end of Barbara Mandrell's peak years at MCA, when her slick pop approach to country music reigned and she enjoyed more exposure than ever from the television series she hosted with her sisters. The album yielded two major hits, "Till You're Gone" and "Operator, Long Distance Please." "Till You're Gone" is the better of the two, anticipating the oily nostalgia of Ronnie Milsap's "Lost in the Fifties Tonight" with its classic doo wop chord progression. The album is marred by synthetic production and uneven material, particularly with regard to the preponderance of generic ballads that aren't rooted in any particular genre of music. Unless you're a completist, enjoy "Till You're Gone" on a greatest-hits collection and skip the rest.

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