Lenore O'Malley

Lenore

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A significant improvement over its predecessor, Lenore uplifts and meditates with a simmering hodgepodge of soft rock up-tempo numbers, adult contemporary ballads, and several disco-influenced numbers. Whereas First Be a Woman suffered from somewhat generic disco numbers, this set keeps the flavor varied with tunes ranging from the touching, underrated ballad "By the Way, Now (The Best Thing That Ever Happened)" to the hustling, bustling, lyrically captivating "Sorry...Wrong Lover" and the feel-good rocker "You Can Shine." A handful of numbers borrow liberally from other major hits of the time: most notably, the composition and arrangement of "Cry Me (A Million and One Tears)" is remarkably similar to Blondie's "Call Me." But the bright, vibrant feel of each track -- and Lenore O'Malley's endearing performances -- make it all worthwhile.