Jeri Southern

When Your Heart's on Fire

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It isn't the collection of suicidal torch songs indicated by the title, but Jeri Southern's When Your Heart's on Fire is by no means an exuberant, swinging LP. While backing strings move at glacier speed, Southern is similarly slow and thoughtful, seeming to weigh her words and thus transform "Someone to Watch Over Me" and "Autumn in New York" from standards into soliloquies. She reaches an obvious low point on "He Was Too Good to Me," but springs right back with "You're Driving Me Crazy," complete with a suitably noisy, raucous (and dated) arrangement. "You Make Me Feel So Young" and "I Remember You" are yet more tender ballads, just barely shifting the balance from world-weary to simply wise. Released as the back-end of a 1996 two-fer, When Your Heart's on Fire has also been reissued (as well as remastered) in Japan.

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