Helen Reddy

Free and Easy

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Reddy was definitely in a holding pattern -- Free and Easy is indistinguishable from its predecessors. That said, there is a little more grit in the oyster on this outing. Her third US number one single "Angie Baby" is quite memorable, if chiefly for its baffling lyric -- an insane, music-obsessed child lures a man into her bedroom and, the song implies, murders him -- or something. The rest is the usual mix of pop, sugary ballads and nostalgia, supplied by the same cast -- Paul Williams, Peter Allen and Don McLean. All of it is merely pleasing rather than brilliant; only "Showbiz," a fluffed attempt at wit, is downright bad.

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