This is perfect radio fare—and I don't mean that as much of a compliment. Coppola has all the tricks down and the sort of quasi-babydoll voice a lot of guys go for, but each song here is stamp-pressed from some corporate exec's idea of what constitutes hot music, cliché from start to finish. Too bad, because Temporary Heartache shows she could be a good, gritty, hard-blues diva. Toss Barry Levenson behind her on guitar, and we'd be talking business here. There's a slink and smolder to Coppola that turns into fire on the refrain, and, with a screaming lead to goad her into the shouter stratosphere, well, heads would turn and ears open up. Like Gayle MacCormick (Smith), Coppola has a twang, capitalized the wrong way on Wisdom, but also a gutfelt vivacity that outstrips the formulaicness of the lion's share of the disc. Yeah, she pulled in John Waite to co-write, but so what? He managed a few magnificent songs for a few minutes but crashed and burned like a badly built jetliner—that's an example to emulate or consult? Though Lisa Coppola may well eventually score a hit on The Chartbound ChooChoo, it won't be art until she lets it rip with some chromatic blues and a torch song or two under her belt.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
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