"This is one of Linda Ronstadt's greatest albums, even though it is probably the least well-known of her career. It came out in 1993, long after pop fans had figured she'd given up slumming in the rock/pop world and had moved into a joint appointment as the Ethno-musicology chair at a major university and the curator of the Nelson Riddle Museum.But while I love this album, it illustrates what can drive you crazy about her. Linda Ronstadt is a promiscuous lover of great songs. When she finds a song she falls in love with, she wraps it in her world class voice, and makes love to that song with romantic intensity. What she DOESN'T do, usually, is INTERPRET the song. Instead, to show her loyalty and love for the song, she performs a version that is almost a replica of the original. That's no big deal on great songs like "Heartbeats Accelerating" or "Do What You Gotta Do," which were new to me when I heard this disk. But on incredibly familiar songs like "Anyone Who Had a Heart" or "Don't Talk, Put Your Head on My Shoulder" she presents an arrangement that is very much like the original--in the case of "...Heart" almost an exact duplicate. She sings it at the same tempo, to the same beat. She imitates some of the features of the original singer's interpretation--Dionne Warwick, especially, although their voices are so different. She did that during her heighth of popularity, sometimes to absurd effect, in songs like "Heat Wave" and "Tumbling Dice" that were just wrong for her. But we all know promiscuous people who hook up with the wrong person...that's Linda! Do I have a problem with this? This is the guilty part of the guilty pleasure...I don't! Her voice is so good, and most of her song choices (especially on this album) so tasty, my feeling is, if she wants to be a jukebox, she's an awfully good one, so I just give in to it. This is a great album, and if you get it, you won't hate yourself in the morning."
Why has Linda been ignored lately?
Erik North | San Gabriel, CA USA | 07/09/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Maybe it's because it may not have been such a bright idea to follow a great album like "Cry Like A Rainstorm" with two more Spanish-language albums, neither one of which sold too well.But that doesn't mean Linda stopped making great music. "Winter Light" is such a fine album that its dismissal by record buyers and critics alike seems grossly unfair. Linda really puts her heart into songs like "Anyone Who Had A Heart" and "I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself", both of which were made into standards by Dionne Warwick and Dusty Springfield in the 1960s. Her take on the Beach Boys' "Don't Talk (Put Your Head On My Shoulder)" is ethereal and dream-like, as is her self-penned title track.For me, though, the highlight is "A River For Him", which takes her back into poignant, country-influenced territory. She takes a song written by her longtime pal Emmylou Harris and really makes it into her own, full of tears and heartbreak.If you're a big Linda Ronstadt fan, don't let this album pass you by."
Very good Linda album...
S. Sittig | Washington, D.C. | 10/01/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a very good Linda Ronstadt pop-inflected venture, especially for those of us long time fans that were feeling the withdrawal pangs in the 4 years since her wonderful CRY LIKE A RAINSTORM, HOWL LIKE THE WIND. As always, Miss Ronstadt sets the bar really high. She loves a challenge and this time she decides to cover 3 monster pop songs, that will perhaps forever be identified with the ladies who made them hits. (and she acknowledges this in her liner notes as well..)Ronstadt does not disappoint. although she didn't always erase the original from my mind. She tackle's "Anyone Who Had A Heart" and makes a powerful wedge in Dionne Warwick's grasp on Bacharach & David. She belts out "Oh No, Not My Baby" with tremendous gusto, but still she's no Maxine Brown (even Dusty Springfield's cover of Brown's version somehow fits better than Ronstadt's.)And then she tries her vocal chords on "I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself", Dusty Springfield's iconic trip into self-deprecation and despair. While vocally she soars, emotionally, Ronstadt is still holding back. Ronstadt's often "guarded" quality never seems to serve her well in the more melodramatic arenas that Dusty Springfield could always navigate so well. So while she does a beautiful job vocally, overall, the track is missing something.But nevermind that..why even bother critiquing the covers, when some of the other material is so first rate? The opener, "Heartbeats Accelerating" is brilliant and my favorite track. It's haunting, yet soothing..like Enya but with bite. The production is wonderful as well. "Don't Talk, Put Your Head On My Shoulder", works wonderfully for her, and "Adonde Voy", shows off her ability with a Spanish lyric in a more pop way than her 3 previous Latin albums did.Overall, this is a very good effort from the 90s Linda, and you've got to give her credit for always challenging herself. That being said, I think on her next pop album FEELS LIKE HOME, she really hits her stride."
S. Sittig | 11/26/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This much-maligned CD actually features some of Linda's most accomplished vocals. She changes styles and musical genres so quickly and completely that each CD sounds like it could be by an entirely different artist but for that INCREDIBLE voice.Initially, I though this CD was a little too sleepy, but I have grown to love it and recognize that Linda is an artist that defies categorization. She is also very brave, because no one should have the gall to cover a tune already recorded by Dionne Warwick AND Dusty Springfield(two of the greatest voices of this century.) However, her version of "Anyone Who Had A Heart" is a wild success, it is a testament to Linda's greatness that she found new depth and heartache in a song that has been sung to death.She works similar magic on the Esther Phillips hit "It's Too Soon To Know" (with Aaron Neville on harmony vocals), and the Beach Boys "Don't Talk". There is not a single bad song in the bunch. Check it out!"