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Dayne Upgrades Weak Material With Soulful Singing

June 11, 1990|DENNIS HUNT

Singer Taylor Dayne had years of operatic training to fine-tune her mezzo-soprano voice. When she cranks it up, as she did often at the Greek Theatre on Friday, it's dazzling.

Too often, though, that voice was wasted.

Dayne's problem has always been that her material isn't good enough to provide an adequate showcase for her glowing voice. Her two albums boast a batch of Top 10 singles--but none are first-rate songs. Some of her biggest hits have been ballads sporting schmaltzy lyrics, like "Love Will Lead You Back" and "I'll Always Love You."

Still, alternating between R&B wailing and Tina Turner-style belting, Dayne did manage to upgrade some below-average material by singing soulfully and with sheer ferocity.

The Greek audience seemed indifferent to the limitations of her material. Supported by a large cast of singers, dancers and musicians, Dayne cannily manipulated those fans with charm, wit and often-startling raunchiness (she raised both temperatures and eyebrows with her lascivious moves on the dance numbers). By the end of the show, she had whipped the crowd into a frenzy.

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