Linda Eder

It's Time

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Linda Eder's third album demonstrated her growth as a singer; for the first time on one of her records, you could listen through whole songs without being reminded of Barbra Streisand. She remained largely dependent for her material on composer Frank Wildhorn, but at least on this occasion, for the most part, Wildhorn worked on a consistent set of songs with the same lyricist, Jack Murphy; they came up with a varied collection not dominated by generic romantic ballads, though there were a few, especially toward the end. (There were also Wildhorn songs from his musicals Jekyll and Hyde, The Scarlet Pimpernel, and The Civil War.) Murphy's words approached wit on occasion, even if Wildhorn's music continued to hew to pre-rock pastiche, so that Eder, swimming in string and horn charts, still seemed caught in a time warp circa 1955, even when she was dropping references to RuPaul and the Internet. And she continued to be arrogant in her choice of covers, this time trying out "Over the Rainbow." Nevertheless, the news here was her development of a distinct vocal identity: finally, you could just say that Linda Eder was a great singer, not that she was a great singer who sounded like...

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