Ten seconds into this CD and I was reaching for the case to check who produced it. Trevor Horn - hardly a surprise. If yo're not familiar with the name you'll surely know the music: Seal, Frankie Goes To Hollywood and ABC are all indebted for their success. Horn's trademarks are a sense of drama and the sheer gloss that stands out so immediately. Paired with Stansfield they're an 80s A-team. But do they still have the magic touch?
"All Around The World" (1989) was Lisa's biggest hit. It revealed a rare ease of phrasing harnessed to a voice full of old school soul. Weighed down by power ballads, this album shows off little of those assets. Half an eye is surely on America, where white women and Motown rarely mix.
"Easier", the opening track, epitomises the tag 'sophisticated adult-oriented pop' which ZTT Records have coined for their offering. It could also translate as 'assured but uninspired'. The first single, "Treat Me Like A Woman", comes next and is a more feisty affair, full of texture and whit. Sadly, its momentum is squandered all too soon by more 'sophisticated' stuff.
There's a taste of Stansfield at her best on "If I Hadn't Got You", written by Chris Bradie and Chris Difford. Ironically, it's the least ambitious track, content with a pleasant groove that allows Lisa to relax. "Takes a Woman to Know", which rounds things off, is an outstanding piece of production, but once again it pushes Stansfield into being prematurelygrown up.
The Moment has got class but lacks creative direction - an accurate reflection on the pair responsible. --Antony Hatfield
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