Beth Lawrence

Color in a Grey World

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Because Beth Lawrence recorded for the NAC-oriented ITI label in the early '90s, some people described Color in a Grey World as contemporary jazz. But in fact, Lawrence was no more a jazz singer than Madonna or Celine Dion. Pleasant but not fabulous, this CD is best described as an adult contemporary/R&B release with occasional jazz overtones. The jazziest tune of the album is a likable cover of Natalie Cole's dreamy "La Costa," which was arranged by David Benoit and was obviously aimed at quiet storm tastes. As far as Lawrence's singing goes, she has a girlish voice that often brings to mind Madonna -- her choice of material, however, is much more adult-oriented than what you'd typically find on a Madonna album. You won't find a lot of teen appeal on this album, which ranges from R&B-influenced tunes like "Bijou" and "We're All in This Together" (a song Dianne Reeves co-wrote) to adult contemporary ballads such as "Homeless Dove" and "Does Your Heart Still Sing." Although Color in a Grey World has its moments, the CD didn't do much commercially, and Lawrence continued to be little known.