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Nicolette Larson
Genres: Country, Pop, Rock


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All Artists: Nicolette Larson
Title: Radioland
Members Wishing: 6
Total Copies: 0
Label: Wounded Bird Records
Original Release Date: 1/1/1981
Re-Release Date: 2/15/2005
Genres: Country, Pop, Rock
Styles: Cowboy, Soft Rock, Country Rock
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 664140350229, 603497980376

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CD Reviews

Nicolette's 3rd Time at Bat, and She Struck Out Again.
Cain Farmer | Alexandria, VA | 03/07/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Nicolette's first LP, "Nicolette," was a certifiable smash. Over a half-mil in sales, one of 1978's biggest singles ["Lotta Love"], and a debut effort that had most critics applauding.

The followup LP, 1979's "In the Nick of Time," produced one, lower-top-forty hit ["Let Me Go, Love"], and demonstrated, more or less, that the "Nicolette" phenomenon wasn't going to be repeated, not in sales, not in singles, and not in sound ["Nicolette's" eclectic stylings were jettisoned in favor of an all-pop sound for "In the Nick of Time"]. Nevertheless, if "In the Nick of Time" was wildly different from "Nicolette," it was different in a good way, and some of Nicolette's finest songs grace that second LP.

Whether Warner Brothers just got tired of Nicolette because she hadn't replicated the success of "Nicolette" in her second LP, or Nicolette had a short time and a contract to play out with Warners, the third LP in about 3 years, "Radioland," went largely without notice, and even though I'm one of Nicolette's biggest fans, it's kind of easy to see why the only notice that "Radioland" got was largely negative.

The album is sometimes billed as Nicolette's disco-bunny album, but that's just wrong. Two songs at best approach anything near disco ["How Can We Go On" and "Straight from the Heart"]. So don't not buy the album because you think it's disco-fied, because it's not.

Shortcomings of the LP include the number of tracks and playtime [only 9 tracks grace this effort, and barely come in at over a half-hour], and once again, as with "In the Nick of Time," a real lack of the variety of musical genres that made the debut LP "Nicolette" so fetching. Instead, we're treated to songs that were clearly aimed at a rock audience [the title tune and the driving, albeit toe-tapping "Ooo-Eee"], or a pseudo disco audience [the cuts listed above], or at a pop audience [the bubble-gummy, Doobie-Brothers-"What A Fool Believes" soundalike "When You Come Around" and irresistable "Fool for Love"]. The album suffers from an identity crisis, really. While it might be said that the debut smash LP "Nicolette" weaved in and out of many musical shapes and sufferred from the same kind of pigeon-holing, the production and song selections and overall feeling of "Nicolette" all made for a magical and winning LP there, if one that was searching for an identity. "Radioland" feels like a very rushed effort, and one that was desperate to cash in on the anti-disco sentiment that was gaining popularity at that time with its pop, rock and soft-disco-edged tracks. While there are some strong songs here ["Radioland," "Ooo-Eee," "Tears, Tears and More Tears," and "Long-Distance Love"], they're placed among some of the weakest songs that Nicolette has ever recorded, which makes for an overall weak album.

It's hard to imagine any company ever loosing faith in the vocal talents of Nicolette, and it's harder still to imagine the same man who produced Nicolette's debut and second LPs, producing "Radioland," but perhaps there was some real hope that the album's first [and only, I think] single, the rock-edged sing-along "Ooo-Eee," would return Nicolette to the top forty, which sadly didn't happen [I don't even think the single scored on the Hot 100, although a few years later, the song would be an instant and very big hit on the country charts for none other than Dolly Parton!].

Still, you can't find at least two of those great, strong cuts anywhere else, and for what it's worth, even "How Can We Go On" grows on you after a few listens. If "Radioland" is easily Nicolette's least-memorable album, we're reminded of a sad truth of the music industry with this LP, that the finest artistic talents are easily diminished and even destroyed by business people. If Nicolette's wildly successful debut effort, the LP "Nicolette," couldn't be repeated, clearly it was for a lack of even trying, as "Radioland" so sorely demonstrates.

"Radioland" was very much a waste of Nicolette's talents. That those talents still manage to shine through in a very much "less-than" effort, however, points to the real appeal of Nicolette Larson: that wonderful voice, that wonderful way she could take a song and get you hooked, sometimes for the song's great production and melody, all times for her unique vocals wrapped around the song's lyrics."
Upbeat Pop/Rock, Nicolette Does It All
Eric James | Belcourt, ND USA | 04/09/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Nicolette's third release is definately her most upbeat and danceable. I agree, it's not techno/disco or anything of the sort. Just pop-rock mixed with a little country. In fact, the only ballad is "Long Distance Love."

The best track is "Ooo-Eee" with prominant background vocals by Linda Ronstadt. This has gone down as Nicolette's lesser appreciated albums, but it has a good many moments and fans of Nicolette never complained."