Paula, Paula, Paula...how much you are my guiltiest pleasure! Long before I was glued to the TV with American Idol, I was a Paula Abdul fan when she released this album in 1991. I remember begging my mom for some LA Gear sneakers with the Paula logo and pom-pom laces (I got them and was the coolest kid in my first grade class) and everytime, "The Promise Of A New Day" and "Rush, Rush" would play on the radio I would turn it up and belt along to it. I was a deticated fan at only just a mere six years old. Well, times changed and Paula dissapered from my life till one day I was browsing CD's in my early teens and I stumbled upon this album. I brought it of course and got a fresh start at being a much more mature Paula Abdul fanatic!
"Spellbound" is a completely 360 from what 1988's "Forever Your Girl" offers. "Forever" is an excellent piece of late 80's New Jack/Pop but "Spellbound" introduces Paula as the quirky dance/pop queen. Some of the tunes off of "Spellbound" are off-the-wall dance-a-thons and they have a quirky yet cheese factor behind them that make them just sugary-rot-your-teeth dance music, that's fun and not to be taken seriously.
"The Promise Of A New Day" has that earthy, drum laden dance vibe scribbled all over it, plus the message is quite nice saying that there is always...well, the promise of a new day! "Rock House" is an odd political piece (I wonder who she is talking about on this track!) that is verry early 90's dance and has a thunderous effect to it. The sweet, oozing soul of "Rush, Rush" (Keanu Reeves in the video...great choice for a lead! :) is possibly one of Paula's crowning acheivements, and she shows that she can pull off a ballad without having diva lungs. Nice touch with the violin solo. The title track is quirky and insane. It has a sort of witchy feel to it. "Vibeology" is a great dance number that has some funny little voice-overs and it makes for a great video. One of Paula's best dance tracks. The Prince produced, written and performed (!!!) "U" is basically a Prince song with Paula singing it. It's odd, quirky and Prince, what more can you ask for? "My Foolish Heart" is pure early 90's dance that has a driving bass beat to it. "Blowing Kisses In The Wind" is a gorgeous, soul-stirring ballad that was another hit for Paula. Great trickling keyboard intro and Paula sings this song with great ease. "To You" can be considered filler, but good filler at best. Verry early 90's dance with some strident keyboard work throughout. The oddball of this set is "Alright Tonight", a honky-tonk stomper of a tune. I was surprised when I heard this. It's not good and it is out of place on here, and it's just a terrible song to place admid some great dance tunes. "Will You Marry Me?" is a sweet and almost sappy lush ballad. It's great for the first few listens but it grows to be very very cheesy and almost nauseating. Still Stevie Wonder (!!) saves the day when he comes in with his supurb harmonica solo.
"Spellbound" is a an album that Paula should be very proud of. It showcases her dance abilities (especially through the music videos) and now Paula gets to show off her ballad chops. Though Paula will never be remembered for towering vocal abilities a la Whitney Houston, she is not a dull performer. I find Paula's albums and music for that matter to be enjoyable, fun and totally dance worthy. My friend's laugh at me for owning this album and "Forever Your Girl" but then turn to American Idol and go "Oh, I love Paula!" Yeah, for being a sweet judge! Long before "AI" Paula had a great music career, though relatively and sadly short, it still had a great impact on the music industry and I'm glad that she is still in the spotlight today. Paula you go girl and keep your dancing shoes on!
JEN'S TOP 5
1. The Promise Of A New Day
2. Rush, Rush
4. My Foolish Heart
5. Blowing Kisses In The Wind (tie w/Rock House)