Helen Darling (Decca, 1995)
Reviewed by Norm Rosenfield
Certainly every new talent stands to benefit immensely from a celebrity going to bat for them. With help from Garth Brooks, who heard her sing a Randy Travis demo, the singer is strong and confident on this debut. "I Love Him, I Think" is radio ready with pedal steel and mucho guitars wrapped around convincing vocals. Darling displays sensitivity in her take on the irony of love in a song she co wrote called "When the Butterflies Have Flown Away." Emotionally on target, and a sensitive arrangement. Hands down, the gem is "With Every Twist and Turn," a wonderfully charged 12-string guitar anthem. Just the type of track with which any artist bearing a recording contract should be able to have a hit. It's a driving song that would fit just nicely on a Mary-Chapin Carpenter release. Maybe the song will make Helen the "darling" of country music fans.