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The defining quality of Linda Ronstadt’s voice, for all of its power and beauty, has always been control. Those feathery la-la-la-las on “Ooh Baby Baby,” just a smidge behind the beat; the way, on “You’re No Good,” that she metes out venom — clear-eyed, pissed off, in tune.
Ronstadt isn’t the sort of singer who lets her seams show, or who offers the musical version of her soft belly. And because she sings other people’s songs, even her most affecting musical moments are feats of interpretation rather than revelation. So it is with Ronstadt’s new book, “Simple Dreams,” subtitled “A Musical Memoir”