ROBERTA FLACK ``Oasis'' (Atlantic 81916-2) - Perhaps because one expects a lot from Roberta Flack, her latest album, with its mostly so-so tunes and run-of-the-mill techno-pop backgrounds, is disappointing. The pluses are Flack's appealing voice and delivery, and her own pieces - especially her collaboration with writer Maya Angelou and lyricist Barry Miles, the ballad ``And So It Goes'' and the breezy ``You Know What It's Like.'' TRAVELING WILBURYS ``Traveling Wilburys, Vol. 1'' (Wilbury Records/Warner Bros. 4-25796) - The Wilburys are a true all-star band, once you realize that Lucky, Nelson, Otis, Lefty, and Charlie T. Jr. are really Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison, and Tom Petty. These veterans bring their five rhythm guitars together for a delightful session of blues and rockabilly. Even the liner notes don't betray their identities!
BARBRA STREISAND ``Till I Loved You'' (Columbia OC 40880) - Overall a fine selection of mostly ballads, especially ``You and Me for Always'' (Bacharach/Sager) and Streisand's collaboration with Alan and Marilyn Bergman, ``Two People.'' The pop/rock material is less effective, but Streisand is in excellent voice throughout, and Patrick Williams's string arrangements are subtle and complementary. Don Johnson is no vocal match for Streisand, but their duet on the title tune is lovely.
ANTHRAX ``State of Euphoria'' (Megaforce/ Island 91004-1) - New York's hottest speed metal band emerges from the underground. Joey Belladonna is a talented singer, and Charlie Benante is a powerful, compelling drummer. The songs are about self-respect, hypocrisy, and materialism. They contain a minimum of foul language. This is thrash metal at its ear-splitting, fast-and-furious, wall-of-sound best.
JANE IRA BLOOM ``Slalom'' (Columbia FC 44415) - The talented soprano saxophonist combines mainstream jazz with the latest electronic effects on this adventurous album. Bloom and her quartet take a fresh approach to the old standards ``If I Should Lose You'' and ``I Loves You Porgy.'' But best of all are her playful originals, which hint at her passionate interest in outer space. Pianist Fred Hersch is Bloom's improvisational soul mate.
DONOVAN ``World Power'' (Mango/Island MLPS9820) - This Donovan isn't the '60s British pop star; he's part of the new wave of politically conscious reggae artists. Jamaican singer Donovan's debut is full of pointed social and spiritual messages over a gently insistent reggae beat, highlighted by some unusual electronic effects.
LOS LOBOS ``La Pistola y el Corazon'' (Warner Bros. 4-25790) - After success with pop hits ``La Bamba'' and ``By the Light of the Moon,'' this Mexican combo has gone back to its roots. A lively, touching, and musically satisfying collection of Mexican folk songs and some originals.