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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Greatest Album To Date from Lady Lisa Stansfield
I will never forget my teen days plugging up my walkman earphone and turned on the radio loud when ALL AROUND THE WORLD came into the air of the local stations...
Even I was 15-years old I knew and I could tell Stansfield was going to be the new Best Brit Pop Diva, she will only get better and classier than her peers Dina Carroll, Cathy Dennis and Kylie Minogue...
Published on 12 Aug 2003 by welek

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars too much, too little, too "light"
It is obvious that all concerned got carried away with the optimistism of this project. The song ideas are all brilliant at their very core, but the lack of a real rhythym section playing live (as well as the absence of an outside production voice) have prevented the vital essence that some honest critique in the production process would have lent to this effort. I felt...
Published on 10 Jan 2005 by T. Norton


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars too much, too little, too "light", 10 Jan 2005
By 
T. Norton "still learning..." (key west) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Face Up: Remastered (Audio CD)
It is obvious that all concerned got carried away with the optimistism of this project. The song ideas are all brilliant at their very core, but the lack of a real rhythym section playing live (as well as the absence of an outside production voice) have prevented the vital essence that some honest critique in the production process would have lent to this effort. I felt myself wanting LESS songs , had they been produced with a live rhythm section and "worked up". Also the album lacks those instrumental moments that make an album shine: even a SINGER'S projects should employ and stretch a wider array of musicians. The overall effect of the production here equates to a very slick "demo". Ian Devaney is a crackerjack writer, arranger, and producer, as well a REAL musician himself. One can only assume he was too amongst the trees to notice the growing forest around him.
After some additional listening, I'm softening my stance a bit with this edited review. Of note are the songs "you can do that" (an affirming and sticky light groove that hooks the listener immediately and show's Ian's knack for sparing and effective horn arrangement), "how could you?" (a Bacharach-tribute arrangement with a bold dynamic jolt in the chorus), "face up" (hypnotic and helpful mantra for those timid in love...), and "let's just call it love" (an off-the-cuff techno groove that's undeniably hip and spontaneous and keeps Lisa "in-character" despite new sonic territory). "831" should have been farmed-out to a teen act, where it would have sold lorries-full! Lisa just sounds a little to grown-up to pitch it's bubblegum mania. "Wish on Me" suffers from an under-developed lyric and would have been stunning in a more organic recording; here it sounds too slick and registers as insincere. "candy" would be wickedly delicious if done in "crunch funk" style with a live R&B band.
I can understand Lisa's disappointment at the lack of a great reception for something she'd worked long and hard on. I guess the point here is that a little less indulgence is sometimes a good thing. You will find at least 3 songs here you dig, more if you're a Lisa fan, so I'll not dis-recommend it, I'll just say "DIABETICS BEWARE"....
No matter what, Lisa's THE universal songstress of her Brit generation, watch her space!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Greatest Album To Date from Lady Lisa Stansfield, 12 Aug 2003
By 
welek (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Face Up: Remastered (Audio CD)
I will never forget my teen days plugging up my walkman earphone and turned on the radio loud when ALL AROUND THE WORLD came into the air of the local stations...
Even I was 15-years old I knew and I could tell Stansfield was going to be the new Best Brit Pop Diva, she will only get better and classier than her peers Dina Carroll, Cathy Dennis and Kylie Minogue. (Check out the scene in her latest video LET'S JUST CALL IT LOVE as she steps out of the dark limo in a scarlet evening lace dress and sashays down the street to meet her "Lover in Crime"!)
FACE UP is the 5th full-length studio record and effort from Stansfield and her long musical companion/love in life/husband/buddy Ian Devaney, together with a few tracks co-written and produced by their musical partner/former school mate Andy Morris.
The Love Duo proves once again at best with their typical upbeat tempo, outrospectively soulful live jazz dance music in the great opener I'VE GOT SOMETHING BETTER. "Open up show me love turn up the music..." Stansfield pronounces in her deep Rochdale slang with a veteran diva vocal that exudes that kind of energy which makes you jump up straight and tap your feet along every beat as she sings...
YOU CAN DO THAT is a pretty funky number in contrast right after the contemporary upbeat exciting sound of the first 2 tracks.
And yes, most probably the biggest smash hit of this album, EIGHT-THREE-ONE, is indeniably the classic Stansfield trademark disco rhythm at best (check out the David Morales mix in the new single), after her self-titled 4th album's single NEVER NEVER GONNA GIVE YOU UP. Sound as if we haven't got enough of great stuff from Stansfield, the title track FACE UP continues to encho her much Barry-White-defined disco sound.
The European Union edition of this album I owe is a deleted copy which only features up to track 13, WHEN THE LAST SUN GOES DOWN. Ironically, this track is the ultimately sentimental ballad that is rather appropriate to round up the album at last and best in a romantic evening you have shared with your love partner.
You know we lovers or fans love this album and only expect you to do even better, thank you Lady Lisa Stansfield.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What A Pleasant Surprise, 8 Aug 2001
By 
This review is from: face up (Audio CD)
Having listened to a lot of her previus work I was not really looking forward to playing this album, you know, using her past reputation etc to push yet another revival album, and boy, what a surprise. This album is excellent, yep, EXCELLENT. The more I listen to it the more I like it with a wicked array of styles and some excellent production this album is worthy of a place at the top of the rack. Personally I like: 8-3-1, a nice ballady track with a gorgeous backing track that all in all creates that happy laid back sound that gets you tapping the fingers. Throughout the album we are reminded of Lisa's past with the occasional 80's sound bunged in to fill the sound spectrum and I have to admit it has all been stitched together very nicely. The only reservation I have is that Lisa tries like hell to exploit her voice to it's full potential and at one point it is exploited just a little to much. Also it would be nice to hear a few remixes of some of these tracks with a direction into a more uptempo beat. Still 10 out of 10, completely original track list, (what a turn up), good production and as already mentioned Lisa Stansfield still remains as the Rochdale Queen. I have no doubt that this album will fall to the back of the ratings charts and receive little if any airplay, which is a real shame because she could teach a few of these "pop" artists a lesson or two in how to be original. Still as far as I am concerned big respect and well done. RIK.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Some good songs..., 3 July 2001
This review is from: face up (Audio CD)
I've Got Something Better- This is probably my favorite after one listen to the whole CD. I think this is the "Real Thing" of Face Up, incredibly catchy and energetic and just makes you want to get up and dance. I love her riffs on this one. Very musical. Lisa and the boys at their best.
Let's Just Call It Love- Finally I get to hear the single!(7/3/01) Interesting choice for a single. Nothing like I expected. Not very commercial, kind of clubby and atmospheric. Not as catchy as the previous song but not bad. Definitely would NOT have been my choice as first single for the CD.
You Can Do That- Pleasant mid-tempo tune with that 70's Lisa touch. Good filler.
How Could You?- This one made me laugh because the horns that are featured in it sounded like the horn arrangements for Burt Bacharach's songs for the musical Promises Promises. Sort of late 60's early 70's horn arrangements. The rest of the song sounds like typical Lisa territory, the verse especially sounded reminiscent of "Honest" on LS..
Candy- This one's a cute mid-tempo number as well. I like the keyboards. Kind of goes nowhere but I like it anyway.
I'm Coming To Get You- I like the chords of the intro which is the basis of the song, so I like this one a little more than the last 2 mentioned.
8-3-1 - I was excited to hear this one because so many of you have mentioned this being a favorite. Same beat and hand claps as Marvelous & Mine. Very similar to that song and Little Bit of Heaven, in my opinion. Not as catchy as I had hoped, but not bad. I can't really see this as a single either to be honest.
Wish On Me - Wow...I love this lyric. I can totally identify with this one. It touches me. Definitely one of the best lyrics she's written. I love it when Lisa does songs like this and "Footsteps" on the self-titled CD, sort of acoustically driven understated songs that have NOTHING to do with the rest of her catalogue. Both have sweet and touching lyrics. It shows how versatile she is. I hope someday she does an acoustic album with songs like this.
Boyfriend - This has a great contemporary beat and it's definitely catchy. Good filler.
Don't Leave Me Now I'm In Love - This song steals it's rhythm track/beat from Kandi's Don't Think I'm Not. But who cares when this song is SO much better than that song. It's a gorgeous song and definitely one of my favorites on the CD.
Didn't I- This track interested me because Lisa herself said she thought this song would surprise people. It's got her roughest vocal to date I would say, reminding me of Mariah's Against All Odds where she sounds like she's scraping her vocal chords with a cheese grater at the end. I think this song is overwrought and it just has no payoff. At least with All Woman, there was a vocal and emotional payoff. This song plods along and she doesn't sound very strong at the end. I applaud her for sacrificing vocal perfection for emotion, though. She sounds like she's feeling it, which is great. I guess I just don't care for the melody or chord structure all that much. Dissappointing.:(
Face Up - This is re-hashed "Wish It Could Always Be This Way" down to the flute flourishes. I think I preferred it on So Natural.. It's not bad. Just not that original or catchy.
When The Last Sun Goes Down- I've heard this one before. Was this on the Wedding Planner soundtrack? This is pleasant fare. I like her vocals on this. I think the song is okay, not great song writing but listenable. As I suspected, someone else contributed to the writing which would account for the different flavor it has.
All Over Me - Okay, at the risk of offending other Lisa fans, I consistently hate this type of song on her albums. This is her The Line on LS, Marvelous & Mine(actually I DID kind of like that one) on So Natural and Time To Make You Mine on Real Love. That sort of funky-this is supposed to be fun and groovy-70's funk ditty that I really do not care for. Hence, I don't care for this one at all. Especially that raucous HORRIFIC note she hits 3 minutes into the song. Wow! She sounds like her vocal chords are being scraped. OUCH! It sounds painful. What was she thinking? Sorry guys, I'm the first to sing her praises but this is not good.
OVERALL, I would say I am disappointed with this one. I REALLY like I've Got Something Better, Wish On Me and Don't Leave Me I'm In Love. It's hard to follow up LS as it was an incredible CD. The song writing was so strong on that CD as well as So Natural. I loved those CD's. Hopefully Face Up will grow on me...:)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not one of her best, but ok, 13 Sep 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Face Up (Audio CD)
There were a few tracks I was looking for from the Vid "Lisa Stansfield live at Ronnie Scott's".
I was unsure of the other tracks when I first played, but some have grown on me.
Not one of her best, but ok.

It would have been great if they had put the whole "Ronnie Scott's" performance on one Album, but alas, the Record Companies rarely do that. I now have most of that Concert spread over several CD's.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Same Recipe, 27 Sep 2004
By 
Brian Martin "lucky laddie" (Erskine Scotland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Face Up: Remastered (Audio CD)
Our Lisa has been around a while and never quite managed to reach the heights and success of her first album Affection which was excellent and a hard act to follow.
This is another effort to try and re-create the halcyon days of affection.
The album opens with a typical Lisa up-tempo dancer, a few tracks have warranted the attention of the modern soul crowd namely tracks 5 and 7. Track 7 is the best cut on the album and starts off with a clip from an old black and white movie and develops into a great stomper and probably Lisa's best track for years. Track 8 slows things down with a bit of a smoocher.
The album is well engineered and produced and starts off well but does not live up to the promise, its one of those records you could listen to while doing the ironing and not notice with the exception of the good tracks. I'm afraid all a little too safe and in the safety zone.
Rating 3 stars.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You have to buy this if you love Lisa!, 1 Oct 2001
By 
stdon@email.com (Manchester, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: face up (Audio CD)
Lisa does not need money or fame; she's done that & been there - which probably explains why the promotion of this new album has been so downbeat, despite the fact that it contains at least 2 songs which are total triumphs & likely to become classics - "How Could You" which is a big "big band" sound (better live @ Manchester Apollo 23rd Sept but album track top drawer) and "Didn't I" which is a real from the heart number that you'd expect to find in a West End musical. The majority of the tracks on Face Up are "growers" and the more you play this thing the more you wish that you could take it intravenously. Love it - well done Lisa.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! Complimenents her previous work, 3 Aug 2001
This review is from: face up (Audio CD)
Im a big fan of Real Love and the self titled album - this album strongly compliments her previous work. Its easy to listen to, has a good variation of moods, good lyrics which are well accompanied by the music, and strong beats.
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4.0 out of 5 stars She's back with that fabulously soulful voice, 28 Jun 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: face up (Audio CD)
From the first track, you know it's Lisa immediately. From the unique voice to the style and tempo of the record. Although she never really re-invents herself as far as her style of writing and singing go, there is something unique and individual about all the tracks on this album as with all her others. She could certainly make many different re-mixes from the more up tempo tracks. As usual, the words to her ballads are beautifully written without making you want to reach for the nearest bucket. Although she has a lower profile these days, this album deserves a lot more airplay than it's currently getting. She could certainly give some of the current so called Divas a run for their money.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Rochdale queen is back better than ever, 7 July 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: face up (Audio CD)
Lisa Stansfield is back,looking and sounding betting than ever.Its been a few years since we have heard anything from the Rochdale queen,but its been well worth the wait. Face Up is a very nice album well and very well put together.It shows both sides of Lisa,s amazing vocal talents,including the up tempo songs,right down to the soft melodic ballads which Lisa Stansfield has always been renowned for.There is plenty of variety on this album,and if you are a Lisa Stansfield fan like myself you will enjoy this new album.Theres no doubt about it,the Rochdale Queen is back looking and sounding better than ever. Review by.... Mark Evans
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