Arista – 2001 – 62 minutes
Nostalgia is one thing but Lisa Stansfield's latest finds the Rochester diva stuck in a late 80s/early 90s time warp – and it's not good.
Opener 'I've Got Something Better' is relatively harmless and a better choice for first single than 'Let's Just Call it Love', which fades by in a blur of MOR mediocrity along with 'You Can't Do That'. Stansfield's voice makes up for some of the studio excess on 'Don't Leave Now I'm In Love'. But the title track is so 1992 you can almost see her complete with black beret and backing dancers on Top of the Pops.
Elsewhere, 'Boyfriend' marks an ill-advised attempt to move into Destiny's Child territory, a funked up beat but no passion. Big brass swells on 'How Could You?' and 'Didn't I', the inanely repetitive lyrics culminating in the incredibly twee '8-3-1' ("eight letters, three words, one meaning/feeling"), which only serves to highlight the fact that there is no feeling here. The album closer, 'All Over Me', shifts towards a 70s Motown groove and, strangely, as a result it comes across as the least dated of all the tracks on this over produced offering.
Boring and insipid Stansfield sounds like Janet Jackson without the raunch, and Dido without the soul. Fans should enjoy it as there is little departure from Stansfield's previous material, but even they may be irritated by the tendency to expect any number of tracks on this album to turn into her 1997 hit, 'Real Thing'.
There's no denying that Stansfield can sing and there is a slim chance that these flimsy tunes could grow on you but would you want to let them? She needs to strip away the gloss and allow her voice to shine. Maybe next time Lisa?
Tracklisting: I've Got Something Better – Let's Just Call It Love – You Can't Do That – How Could You? – Candy – I'm Coming To Get You – 8-3-1 – Wish On Me – Boyfriend – Don't Leave Now I'm In Love – Didn't I – Face Up – When The Last Sun Goes Down – All Over Me