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Singing for Adults Lonely

April 30, 1989|RANDY LEWIS

BONNIE RAITT "Nick of Time." Capitol. ***

The adult world Bonnie Raitt sings about is lightyears away from the black-and-white pains and pleasures of teen rock. It's where people run out of time, out of patience, out of love and out of luck, but never out of hope and compassion. In an album that's as eclectic emotionally as musically, Raitt moves gracefully from the silky R&B of the poignant title tune to the wise and sassy rock of John Hiatt's "Thing Called Love" to the heartbreakingly elegant balladry of "I Ain't Gonna Let You Break My Heart Again" to the Fabulous Thunderbirds-backed roadhouse blues of "The Road's My Middle Name." The LP could have done with a sharper focus, and without a couple of the songs. Even so, there's nary a trace of calculation or false emotion.

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