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Sucess then gone from the blue
on 13 January 2009
1988 will be remembered as the year that the nasty talent-free Madonna took off and disappeared for a bit-well no new album out anyway and pop's true Queen Kim Wilde was allowed back to the fore again where she should be. But 1988 also introduced us to the (shudder) singing 'TV star/mall brat' syndrome which is supplanted by the even worse today-the X Factor and Flop Idol. This 'pupil pop' gave us Tiffany, Sabrina (who looked older then she was, not surprised with that chest!), Kylie Minogue and Debbie Gibson here, among others. Debut wise Kylie's album was pants and of course she had little to do with it-and still has not much to do with her far better output that began in the mid-1990s away from Pete Waterhead and co.
Debbie Gibson is a more able-star admittedly-she wrote, sang and co-produced the whole album itself and sadly this shows. It's not bad but a 16 year old girl writing and performing is just that. Little maturity on show, vocals that need a lot of work to heat up and mature and Fun Factory candyfloss and bubblegum everywhere to rot your teeth and ears. Charmingly there are a few good singles here-the nicest-'Only In My Dreams' could only become a near-miss for the UK Top 10 once the fun feel-good bounce of 'Shake Your Love' had reached No.7, whereupon the former song became a hit in it's wake after re-release and doing around 35 places better. 'Foolish Beat' completes the charming single-set showing real sudden depth of emotion and astounding musical brilliance-still sounding great today. But apart from the groovy 'Fallen Angel'-another mature piece that should have been released instead of the absurd 'We're Staying Together' (and what's with all the playground whistles from a sports teacher?)The album's title track is a fair listen to, feather light but easy on the ear and was an OK release. But the rest of the album is pure kids stuff like the equally dumb 'Play The Field'. Debbie, you're not a bad girl, but this is a bad song.
Her follow-up album would hardly mature and this is why Tiffany wins over here. She contributed nothing to her 1st eponymous album apart from that rousing, scratchy vocal and immediately had a collection of much better songs, though of course the worst two were released sadly-a Beatles cover and a turgid ballad. But pick Tiffany's album over this cos barely half the album truly matters. She's 16 for God's sake. And being American does NOT make her superior to what we had here in the 80s-we had the best. But take note that Debbie's attitude and general image was a hell of lot better than the nasty slut-types screeching today.