1987 was a tough year for the Oak Ridge Boys, indeed. They parted ways with William Lee Golden, a member since 1965. They brought in someone to replace him and had to wonder if the fans would accept him or if they'd just forget about the Oaks all together. So, perhaps to keep their name in the front of peoples' minds, they quickly released their second album of the year.
In doing so, it seems they didn't take the time to get the best songs that were available. While this album is not horrible by any stretch of the imagination, there is nothing here that just grabs you, shakes you, and won't let you go. The song selection here is a bit sleepy, but if given the chance, high points can be found. "True Heart" is a great song sung by Duane Allen, who handles the majority of lead vocals here. However, Joe Bonsall's contribution, "Hear My Heart Beat" is a fun number that also allows bass, Richard Sterban to have some fun as well.
Beyond those songs already mentioned, this album doesn't have much to offer in the way of songs that set the world on fire. The new member, Steve Sanders, debuts his vocal abilities on "One Love, One You" and shows that his soulful voice will soon be a staple in the Oak Ridge Boys music.
Any new music from the Oak Ridge Boys is always a plus, and enjoyable in some way. Heartbeat forces you to look deep for the good a little bit. If more time would have been taken, maybe this album would have charted a bit better. But this kept the Oaks on the radio, and soon the Oak Ridge Boys would begin a country assault that would shoot them up the charts once again and last for a few years!
Outstanding Cuts: True Heart, Hear My Heart Beat
Cut Outs: New Way Out