Toni Child’s debut album of 1988, Union, kicks off with a big, powerful opening track, Don’t Walk Away, that seems to be about the tension between keeping the faith and bowing out, followed by the inspirational Walk and Talk Like Angels, a quieter, gentler track about the things we may all like to be. Stop Your Fussin’ received a lot of air time in its day – I found the song initially annoying for one reason or another – I didn’t like strangely identifying with the male subject who is told to stop his fussing – but as I got older the song took hold of me by the heart. The first three tracks at some stage were all played as singles on the old-style radio. Following those, the album’s uneven. The middle’s meditatively slow pacing and lack of resonance is a liability to this reviewer and the lyrics, and the meaning, weren’t clear, and the final track is hollow, despite titled Where’s the Ocean. But the ebb and flow of Hush and Tin Drum hit the spot and there’s one out of the box—Zimbabwae is strikingly good. Toni Childs has a beautifully gravelly resonant voice that penetrates every song she’s on which is worth listening to.
3 1/2 out of 5 stars