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ALBUM REVIEW / POP

August 31, 1996|JEAN ROSENBLUTH

*** Tina Turner, "Wildest Dreams," Virgin. Maybe it's a marketing gambit. Or maybe, nearing 60, Turner just doesn't move as fast as she used to. Whatever the explanation, the seven-year gap since her last studio album imbues "Wildest Dreams" with a freshness it might lack if we had been hearing the same trademark collection of stylish funk, robust rock and sultry R&B every two years.

The album's intrinsic appeal is mitigated a bit by its emphasis on marketing. The first single, a supple, entirely successful remake of John Waite's willowy 1984 hit "Missing You," is part of an advertising tie-in with a pantyhose company, featuring the leggy artist in magazine and television spots. Even the cover art was designed to promote the ad campaign.

Rank commercialism or not, "Wildest Dreams" is a good product. It isn't adventurous--don't expect any hip-hop (a version of a Massive Attack song notwithstanding) or Morissette-ish angst. But from the tantalizing title song (a duet with Barry White) to the homey ballad "Something Beautiful Remains," Turner delivers the goods.

Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor), two stars (fair), three stars (good) and four stars (excellent).

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