One True Heart is considered the legitimate sequel to Didi Stewart's brilliant but under-produced Kirshner/CBS debut with her group, the Amplifiers, Begin Here; people must be somehow forgetting the important work she did with the band Girls Night Out, whom she founded and who rocked Boston to the core during the '80s. The singer of New England's most influential and popular female group, a cross between the power pop of the Go Go's with classy frontwoman/power vocalist Didi Stewart, who resembledJanis Joplin with all the sweetness and none of the growl. There is a Girls Night Out standard here, "When You Were Mine," concluding the album (actually performed better than the band did it), but this project is more than a souvenir from that act's founder and lead singer, something much more. It is Didi Stewart out to prove a point with a vengeance. 1982's Begin Here contained 11 strong compositions and a great band, somehow missing the mark through transparent production. The Girls Night Out demo and subsequent EP suffered from even worse production, destroying a golden opportunity for all the women involved to become stars. "Matter of Time" from those demos hit on local radio and contained the same vital elements that made 'Til Tuesday's "Voice's Carry" so special (including similar rhythms). "River of Dreams" comes back with the power of a 30-foot wave, washing away the bad feelings caused by the major-label interest evaporating, and an ex-manager mouthing off in the press and blaming the star whose voice fed them all for a couple of years. One can understand why One True Heart is such a superb disc; it is a triumph, with Didi Stewart in full control, an elegant cover photo, marvelous selections, and sound quality this great singer's voice deserves. C. Franklin's "Ain't No Way" is a capella, a showcase for Stewart's pipes, a powerful instrument which floored producer Jimmy Miller during nightclub appearances when he negotiated to produce her (GNO guitarist Wendy Sobel worked with Mr. Miller on three titles, one of the reasons he was constantly at Girls Night Out performances). The remarkable songs, vocal prowess, and soul of Diane Stewart get support on the almost country-pop of her original, "Still Waters," by New Man's bassist and drummer, Tim Archibald and Brock Avery. One has to wonder about the subliminal message here, replacing the all-girl group who almost got signed with a band with such a masculine name, New Man, who did sign with Epic Records. The only member of Stewart's former band who makes an appearance is Cercie Miller on alto saxophone for the finale, "When You Were Mine." In between these grooves the singer covers gospel, Rod Argent, Barry Mann, and Cynthia Weil, and has a great time in the process. One True Heart is the product of an artist who keeps punching against the odds. It's that true rock & roll spirit which makes One True Heart such a work of art. With the passion of a great jazz singer, which she doesnt get credit for, but is, Stewart tackles Madeira/Dorsey's "I'm Glad There Is You" as well as Rodgers and Hart's "This Funny World." Didi Stewart can do it all, and does it all on this 1989 release. That the idea for this album came from executive producer Brian Flood while he and the singer were in the middle of a Polaroid jingle session is just so fitting, just so rock & roll. What developed (it took more than 60 seconds) is a timeless look at a major singer and finally, a true representation of what she's all about.
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AllMusic Review by Joe Viglione