By Greg Sandow
Updated August 03, 1990 at 04:00 AM EDT

After 14 records on her own label, Near — up to now thought of as an artist who performs mainly for women — approaches a mainstream audience with Singer in the Storm, an album of varied songs, many quiet, some forceful, most recorded live. She’s a pointed, subtle singer, but despite her cult reputation, political convictions, and guest appearances by people like rocker Melissa Etheridge, most of Near’s material sounds pretty bland. C+