When the Night Is Through

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September 18, 1998 at 04:00 AM EDT

This season’s most buzzed-about newcomer Mary Cutrufello has clearly studied at the feet of the masters — in her case, the noted composers Petty and Mellencamp. On Cutrufello’s first album When the Night Is Through, small-town heartland rock comes alive, from her gravel-road delivery to anthemic, car-top-down songs about beauty-school gals and Highway 59. This approach reaps the occasional reward — the song ”Sunny Day” bursts with energy — but it’s also derivative and downright surreal in its re-creation of Reagan-era roots rock. B-

When the Night Is Through

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When the Night Is Through

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