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(3 out of 5 stars)
"Heartbeat was the first ORB release with Steve Sanders singing baritone. That may be the reason the album suffers. That's not to say that Sanders is the problem. I believe this album was recorded for the sole purpose of "introducing the new guy." The production seems a bit stale, and most of the songs sound almost like outtakes from "Where The Fast Lane Ends" (the last release before William Lee Golden's departure).I do give credit to the Oaks for doing their best with what they were attempting to do. "Fast Lane" was released in early 1987 (just as Golden was let go), which left people with a feeling of "who's gonna sing the songs?". "Heartbeat," in my opinion, was the response. A group of songs the Boys could do to replace the "Fast Lane" tracks (although the tour kept the Fast Lane monicker). The only tracks from "Lane" that were performed live were "This Crazy Love," and (on occassion) "It Takes A Little Rain."Proof that this album lacked something can be found on the Oaks' "Greatest Hits Volume Three." "True Heart," originally recorded on "Heartbeat," was redone for the hits package. This is HIGHLY unusual for the Oaks to take such drastic measures.If you're buying this CD to complete a collection, go ahead and get it (as it really is the first release with Sanders), but if you're looking for the first SOLID work with Sanders, go for "Monongahela," the second release with Steve."