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More producers and innovation in 3rd Stacey Q album
Daniel J. Hamlow | Narita, Japan | 12/21/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"OK, to fill in the missing gap between Better Than Heaven and this album, I'll say that Stacey Q's second album Hard Machine, was once again produced by Jon St. James, with music done by SSQ, but that it was a more innovative album than Better Than Heaven, with a wider variety of songs. Which leads up to Nights Like This, which features different producers and hence a different sound. While St. James does half of the ten tracks, others such as Clivilles and Coles contribute to Stacey's third go-around, with backing vocals from the likes of Timothy B. Schmit of the Eagles and Martha Washington of the Weather Girls.C&C produced "Give You All My Love" which has leanings towards early Madonna ("Holiday") but also Sam Fox's Full Force-produced material, as the overall tone of backup singers sound like FF, plus the pounding drums and keys near the same as "Naughty Girls." They also did "You Wrote The Book" featuring Expose-type synths and a punchy sound that continues until Stacey starts singing nearly a minute and a half later.Airy synths like "West End Girls" and a quasi-breathy monologue characterize the title track. The Bruce Gaitsch-produced and written "Heartbeat" is a standout ballad, featuring a Spanish-type guitar. This has a tempo and sound like Debbie Gibson's "Foolish Beat" but Stacey's cute girlish vocals adds to the flavour of this."Incognito" and "Take That Holiday" are more a return to the stylings from the Better Than Heaven era, not surprising as St. James produced it, but it sounds fresher than the stuff from BTH with the extra sounds going throughout the drum machines. The latter is the better song due to the Madonna stylings. Anyone who "see[s] the weekend on a Monday afternoon" definitely deserves a holiday. And she sings "If I could have my way, I would make everyday a holiday." Wouldn't we all, Stace? A standout cut.The last three songs are St. James productions and indicate that their sound has developed. "Goin' Out" features rap scratches and a funky beat like Sam Fox's "Love House" Stacey sings in her Madonna-like voice. There's even a monologue featuring a guy in a British accent who's shocked to hear her with someone else, and her response that he owes her the love she gave him. That segues into "Too Good For Me", that has a rhythm like the Stones' "Miss You" incorporated along with some uptempo and up-volume synths and drums."Don't look down look out below/falling off the edge of love" goes the refrain of "The Edge Of Love", with some classic-disco style synths mixed in with the usual St. James sounds.It's more the punchy sound rather than the songwriting that signal Stacey Q's willingness to branch out. The keyboards and drum machines have some more spontaneity rather than the heavily produced sounds of the first album. And the influence from early Madonna is more apparent here. A meritorious effort overall."
Fernando Grillo Abdelnour | San Josť, Costa Rica | 02/27/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is her best cd! And "Incognito" her best song!!!"
Best of artist
Fernando Grillo Abdelnour | 10/16/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"this is a cd you must have if you love stacey q.this cd was passed over in the 80s but it should have been the hit it wasnt.alot better than hard machine."