Three years after the demise of Do Re Mi, Deborah Conway returned with her first solo album String of Pearls. In terms of its content, String of Pearls is greatly indebted to early 1990s Australian pop. There are many similarities here between the work of Paul Kelly and Richard Pleasance, so it is not surprising that Kelly co-wrote two songs, and that Pleasance appears as producer of several of these tracks. Musically, String of Pearls ranges from the melodic pop of the most successful single "It's Only the Beginning" to the rock of "Under My Skin." Much of the rest of the album is comprised of acoustic pop and gentle ballads, with the superb "Release Me" being the best example. Conway's voice is what holds the album together. Her voice is strong and suited to these songs. In the hands of a lesser singer String of Pearls would not have been anywhere near as effective. Instead, Conway manages to cover the slight lack of originality in songwriting by her strong presence and produces a memorable set of songs.
String of Pearls Review
by Jonathan Lewis