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Arlette Beauchamps: Love Again

It’s obvious throughout Love Again (Ren-e-sants), her self-produced debut CD, that Arlette Beauchamps has had significant theatrical training and has learned her lessons well. Beauchamps, who began performing in musical comedy at age 19, has a big, bold sound that stops just short of brassy. Sadly, though, she tends to favor style over substance. Working primarily with durable standards, all presented in safe, uninspired arrangements, Beauchamps seems unwilling to color outside the lines. As a result, almost all of the selections are lacking in individuality and emotional intensity. Her “Tonight” is, for instance, missing the importunity that defines its power, and her “‘Round Midnight” is bereft of yearning or desperation. There’s no sexual charge-not even a foreplay giggle-in “Let’s Do It” nor is there any of the bracing anticipation that makes “Moonlight in Vermont” so icily inviting. The only intriguing bump on this pedestrian journey is the less-familiar title track. Evocative and deeply moving, it enables Beauchamps to fully capture the emptiness of romantic limbo and hints at how enticing her work could be if she’d just loosen her stays a little.

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