The husky voiced Elkie Brooks should have been bigger than she was. Whilst it was true that she had a few hit singles behind her, notably the Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller composition "Pearl's a Singer," "Sunshine After the Rain," a cover of Chris Rea's "Fool If You Think It's Over," and two torch song ballads "Lilac Wine" and "Don't Cry Out Loud," the album market had been slow to discover her talents. The release of the album Pearls changed all that as it soared to the runner-up position in the charts, remaining in the Top Ten for 18 weeks and at that time becoming the biggest-selling album by a solo female singer with sales of over 1.2 million. A&M brought in Elton John's producer Gus Dudgeon and he created an MOR album that appealed to people who preferred their MOR not too safe and MOR, but closer to the edge. Opening with the Carpenters' "Superstar," Pearls showed a remarkable range of styles also including the soul classics "Warm and Tender Love" and "Too Busy Thinking About My Baby," and Chicago's most successful ballad at that time, "If You Leave Me Now."
AllMusic Review by Sharon Mawer