“For her second album, Julia Rich sinks her musical teeth into an assorted program of standards, a Beatles tune, and seven of her works, one of which she wrote with Benita Hill, whose tunes have been recorded by the cover boy of country music: Garth Brooks. The Rich/Hill collaboration, ‘Raining In Rio,’ resembles country music not one whit. Instead, it’s romantic with George Tidwell’s flugelhorn playing an important role in extending it beyond merely presentable. In addition to original material, there are other significant differences between this album and Rich’s initial effort. On ‘The Way You Make Me Feel’ she is jazzier, helped along with first-rate jazz musicians. But they were with her on the first album, so the more upbeat feel is Rich’s doing. Her readings of the tunes show a higher degree of confidence, a willingness to branch out beyond standard material. This greater assurance is heard on ‘You Hit The Spot,’ a duet with Bob Mater’s drums. Unerringly on pitch, this is a choice track. Another attraction is Rich’s compositions. In addition to lyrics that talk about everyday situations, the harmonic structure gives her sidemen something to build a solo on, as with Tidwell’s flugelhorn on ‘The Irises.’ Rich is also more relaxed than ever, even on up-tempo material like a sweet, not girlish, ‘A-Tisket, A-Tasket,’ alternating lines with Tidwell and Woodard. The interrelation of ‘In A Sentimental Mood’ is otherworldly.
“Too often, singers fall into that sophomore slump with their second album. Not so with Rich, who excels in every respect. Her delivery is tailored in such a way as to reflect the unique essence of each tune on the program. This along with the presence of instrumentalists who fiercely compliment her make this album highly recommended.”
All Music Guide