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RECORD RACK

* * * * Great Balls of Fire * * * Good Vibrations * * Maybe Baby * Running on Empty : : COLE MINING

September 06, 1987|PAUL GREIN

* * * "EVERLASTING." Natalie Cole. Manhattan. On her sassy hit single, "Jump Start," Cole is riding on the same "Freeway of Love" that brought Aretha Franklin back to pop prominence. Like Franklin's 1985 smash, it's a revved-up comeback vehicle that draws equally on rock and R&B influences. It's also, by now, an older model. Fortunately, other cuts on Cole's new album are more distinctive. Highlights include the breezy "More Than the Stars" and a spare, soulful reading of "When I Fall in Love," which was made famous by her father, Nat King Cole. The album's tour-de-force is "In My Reality," a bluesy, sophisticated Burt Bacharach/Carole Bayer Sager song that has Cole kissing off a self-centered lover. Her performance is a study in control, building from cool disillusionment to angry defiance.

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