Robin & Linda Williams

Visions of Love

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Robin and Linda Williams make a chancy move on their latest album by opening with a cornerstone from the Carter Family's canon, "I'll Twine 'Mid the Ringlets" (aka "Wildwood Flower"). Unlike the original, the pace is slackened to give the deep emotion of the song room to breathe. The pace, combined with Linda Williams' sensitive vocal, gives this classic a fresh face. Interestingly, the Williams concentrate on covering other artist's songs this time around. Taking turns on vocals and accompanied by spare, tasteful arrangements, they survey great songwriters like Hank Williams, Merle Haggard, and Bruce Springsteen. As with "I'll Twine 'Mid the Ringlets," Linda's version of "Hungry Eyes" and Robin's "Ramblin' Man" slow the pace, allowing room to concentrate on soulful vocals. Linda trades pure folk for the jazzy flavors of Tin Pan Alley pop on "Wasting My Time, Wasting My Love on You" and the album ends on the solemn notes of "If I Should Fall Behind," a song that takes on a personal note when sung by a married couple. While the selection of material is fine, a certain sameness in style and approach makes one wish that the Williams would let their hair down and kick out the acoustic jams now and again. It's as though their careful craftsmanship removes the spark necessary to bring these tunes to life. Fans of past efforts, however, will appreciate the duo's eclectic choice of covers and their professional approach on Visions of Love.

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