CD REVIEWS

An occasional update of music releases

By , Ian Zander, and Mark Sappenfield

POP/ROCK Chris Isaak - Forever Blue (Reprise Records): Before he got into acting, Chris Isaak was the blue-eyed heir to Elvis, a hunka hunka burnin' rockabilly. His fans have long hounded the man who would be The King to top his excellent debut, ''Heart Shaped World.'' But his latest offering may leave fans hungering for more. The new album has all the haunting reverbs and jangly guitars of its predecessor. Some songs - such as the designated hit, ''Somebody's Crying'' - are catchy enough to play for years on VH-1. But where is the moody eloquence of ''Fall in Love'' or the rip-roaring spunk of ''Blue Hotel?'' Please Chris, don't be cruel. And don't quit your day job. - Scott Baldauf Fabulous Thunderbirds - Roll of the Dice (Private Music): The bluesy rock of the Fabulous Thunderbirds is as close to perfection as a music group can get. The 1995 model of the T-birds' sound features lead singer Kim Wilson on harmonica. A mouth-harp virtuoso, Wilson's incredible harmonica plays a prominent role in the ''new'' sound. The album consists of a combination of the hard-driving rock that made the T-birds popular and ballads that will make you want to slow dance with the one you love. Always having fun, the T-birds end the album with a funkified version of ''Zip A Dee Do Dah.'' Oh what a beautiful album. - Ian Zander Blind Melon - Soup (Capitol): Blind Melon's second offering departs from the jam-oriented thrust of their self-titled debut. The best songs on this album flow smoothly between verse and chorus, but others seem disjoined and rambling. On tracks such as ''2 X 4'' and ''St. Andrew's Fall'' the band comes perilously close to some sort of modern-day Led Zeppelin, swallowed in heavy guitar riffs and vocalist Shannon Hoon's shrill falsetto. Two acoustic offerings, ''Walk'' and ''Mouthful of Cavities,'' are the strongest songs on the disc that has no catchy, radio-friendly tune like last album's ''No Rain.'' - Mark Sappenfield

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