Hearing It’s a Heartache for the first time, you’ll probably find yourself pondering how much Bonnie Tyler evokes Rod Stewart. Spin the disc repeatedly, however, and the singers’ perceived common ground might start shrinking fast.
Thanks partly to a recent throat operation, Tyler certainly possesses a Stewartesque raspiness; and like that artist, she deals largely in heart-rending romantic ballads. But while Stewart works with first-rate accompanists and arrangements and conveys emotion effectively, she sports so-so backup and mundane arrangements. Her vocals, moreover, are considerably less nuanced.
“Heaven,” “Baby Goodnight,” and the catchy title cut do point in an auspicious direction. But Tyler seems at least an album or two away from the sophistication necessary to get her where those tracks could lead.