Syracuse Herald Journal
August 6, 1995
Bette Midler‘s first studio album in five years is one of the summer’s pleasant surprises Until now, the Divine Miss M‘s recordings have been somewhat less than divine, the exceptions being her uproarious live albums (“Live at Last” and “Divine Madness“) and the soundtrack from “The Rose ”
“Bette of Roses” is far more polite than those albums, with an adult contemporary sound, but she wisely passes on the overdone ’40s classics that had turned her previous studio releases into predictable camp Here she offers melodic tunes such as “I Know This Town,” a spry Western winner, and the smoldering ballad To Comiort You, in which she adopts a sultry lower register as brushes softly stroke against drums amid teasing, bluesy guitar licks.
“Bette of Roses” isn’t perfect.
Midler’s good-natured vulgarity and delightful brassiness of olden days is missing – she’s a mother now, don’t you know? – and there are too many ballads But overall, this is the best Bette in some time.