Kathy Troccoli (RCA): This dusky-voiced singer, previously acclaimed for her gospel-oriented debut album, returns with a major bid for pop success. The first single is ``Tell Me Where it Hurts,'' penned by hitmaker Diane Warren, and produced by Rik Wake (who worked with Mariah Carey and Celine Dion) and Michael Omartian (with Rod Stewart), among others. She also co-wrote six of the tracks. But what distinguishes this album is not the material, which ranges from passable to slick, but the voice, which truly soars.
- Frank Scheck
Sheryl Crow - Tuesday Night Music Club (A&M): Sheryl Crow can certainly claim the sleeper of the year. Released in 1993 to utter obscurity, her debut `Tuesday Night Music Club' is just now getting the airplay it deserves thanks to a spot at Woodstock II, a guest slot on Dave Letterman's ``Late Night,'' and an irrepressible video for ``All I Wanna Do.'' The rock is sprinkled with different spices: motown, soul, funk, even rap and jazz - all of which are stamped with Crow's endearing tongue-in-cheek wit and eye for detail. The disc is also purely a Western album in the sense that the settings are often Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Texas.
- Associated Press
* COUNTRY/FOLK Joy Lynn White - Wild Love (Columbia): Joy Lynn White's impressive 1992 debut ``Between Midnight & Hindsight'' proved to be both musically and lyrically compelling. The Arkansas-born, Midwest-raised young singer's second release, ``Wild Love,'' is a superb follow-up, serving up more of the same traditional honky-tonk country with a blues-rock influence. The current single ``Bad Loser'' and ballad ``Why Can't I Stop Loving You'' show her wide-ranging vocal talents. The album as a whole establishes White as an emerging presence in the country-music mainstream.
- Ken Drelich