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NICKY HOLLAND (Buy CDs by this artist)
Nicky Holland (Epic Associated) 1992
Sense and Sensuality (Epic) 1997

Keyboard player, songwriter and arranger Nicky Holland — whose extensive credits begin in 1981 with the Ravishing Beauties, a band with Virginia Astley and Kate St. John, and include The Teardrop Explodes, Fun Boy Three, Jill Sobule, Lloyd Cole, Ryuichi Sakamoto and many others — eventually became a crucial Tears for Fears adjunct, touring with the group in 1985 and co-writing more than half the songs for The Seeds of Love. Holland's self-titled solo debut is a dignified affair; singing her graceful pop reflections (plus a stylish cover of the Grateful Dead's "Box of Rain") in a reedy alto — a deeper-voiced Joni Mitchell channeling Carole King — she makes adulthood sound like a reasonable place to be.

[Ira Robbins]
   See also Tears for Fears