Tret Fure

Terminal Hold/Edges of the Heart

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This two-on-one set is an improvement over the original albums for the punchier sound and higher volume, which generally jack up the temperature as well as the wattage on these 19 tracks. After starting her career as a Bonnie Raitt-style guitarist/singer, Fure emerged in the mid-'80s with a new, harder sound on Terminal Hold -- the album is a mix of hard rock and topical songwriting, and Fure (pronounced "fury") comes off sounding like a cross between an adult Suzi Quatro and early-'70s Joan Baez, combining the best of those disparate elements. "As If by the Wind" could've been a great lesbian rock anthem, if the lesbian community were prepared to embrace rock, while "What Goes on in the Night" (featuring Cris Williamson on backing vocals) is an extraordinarily passionate and sweet ballad. "Movin' in for the Kill" is the kind of antinuclear anthem that ought to be a turnoff but isn't, mostly thanks to Fure's way with the hook of the title chorus, a good vocal arrangement, and some cool violin. And "Cold, Cold Heart" is a piece of hard-rocking romantic defiance, Fure's singing deep and strong and hard, matched against her own crunchy guitar, and all coming out like early Pat Benatar with attitude. Not all of the rest is up to this standard, but it's close, and the CD improves on the clarity of the mix and the punch and crunch of the harder-rocking sides. Edges of the Heart was not as strong an album, but it had "Tight Black Jeans," a clever, lively, catchy, lusty song about a former love that should have been licensed for an ad campaign by Guess or some other maker of the appropriate title product. A lot of the rest is more introspective and lyrical, with a very rich palette of sounds, most notably "I Move for Your Love," which seems to show the influence of the Police in its timbre, especially the opening, while "Guilty" has a roots rock earthiness. The title track has the prettiest singing ever to grace a Tret Fure record, and it sounds even better on the CD. "Cherish the Love" was always a high point of Fure's '80s shows, and her singing here is almost wrenching in its passion -- curiously, the choruses are less than catchy, but the verses are achingly disarming and ravishingly beautiful, within the context of a rock song. Some of the rest is below this standard, and Fure's plunge into a Cajun-influenced sound ("Bayou Blue") is questionable, but this half of the CD has some peaks worth climbing by the listener.

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