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William Ruhlmann [allmusic.com]
Karla Bonoff seems to have had some trouble coming up with material for her second album, which may explain why it took two years (a long time in the '70s) and contained covers of ''When You Walk in the Room'' and ''The Water Is Wide,'' and also why the originals weren't as uniformly excellent as those on her first album. True, leadoff track ''Trouble Again'' was a gem (as Linda Ronstadt proved when she recorded it on her Cry Like a Rainstorm -- Howl Like the Wind album in 1989), but some of the other material was only pedestrian. As usual, half of L.A. was playing and singing on the record, which meant that you got people like Don Henley and James Taylor for your money. But Restless Nights did not represent the leap in quality that would have been required to vault Bonoff into the ranks of her star friends (it didn't have a big hit single, either), and so, instead of providing a consolidation of her reputation, it caused a rethinking of career direction reflected on her third album.