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Dan C. from AMHERST, MA
Reviewed on 7/9/2008...
The best (de/re-constructed) version of "It's My Party" ever!!! This entertaining & well-crafted disc is worth checking out for that reason alone,,,
Top of the Pops
CH | Malaysia | 10/12/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Contrary to the other review below, Dave Stewart and Barbara Gaskin have never aspired to be a Eurythmics. What the two did have in common was a fresh approch to pop the way many bands did in the 80s, that is sadly lacking today. Up From The Dark is an absolute rarity, and anyone who loves the 80s will find this short of brilliant. Dave Stewart is one of the most imaginative song writers to emerge from the era, and his songs are never just "pleasant". The unlikely Siamese Cat Song is a showcase of his talents, just hear how the simple song traverses a variety of ingenius pop transformations. Barbara Gaskin is the perfect partner, joining Stewart in imaginative musical meows and purrs. This is a true partnership in an adventure in pop, and no matter what material falls into their hands the results are amazing. This was their first full "album" which is really a collection of singles and B sides. The duo's first real studio album was 1989's Big Idea, but Up From The Dark is rightfully the preceding Greatest Hits album from a duo that has not even cut an album yet, but had already scored a number of successes. Other great songs include A Different World, Leonina Crowe, Johnny Rocco.... they're all fabulous!"
Pleasant album of synth-driven soft rock
woburnmusicfan | Woburn, MA United States | 04/13/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"In 1981, keyboardist Dave Stewart (National Health, Bruford) and singer Barbara Gaskin had a surprise #1 hit in the U.K. with a synthesizer remake of Lesley Gore's "It's My Party (and I'll Cry If I Want To)". This 1985 album of synth-driven soft rock includes that hit, though sadly not the fantastic B-side "Waiting in the Wings", my favorite Stewart-Gaskin track. Eight of the 14 tracks are an eclectic array of covers, ranging from Motown ("I'm in a Different World" and "(I Know) I'm Losing You") to Disney (the "Siamese Cat Song" from "Lady and the Tramp") to XTC ("Roads Girdle the Globe") and Thomas Dolby ("Leipzig") to Bing Crosby ("Busy Doing Nothing"). The rest of the songs are Stewart pop compositions, none of which are standouts -- the best is "Do We See the Light of Day". Stewart pays tribute to Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World" with a song about character "Lenina Crowe".
The pair seem to be trying for a sound like Stewart's Eurythmics namesake, but Gaskin's voice is just too full of British restraint. While she has a pleasant voice, her singing never conveys any emotion but a vague melancholy. Stewart does some interesting keyboard work; he's good at making a synth sound like a lead guitar. The rhythm section is mostly drum machines and synth bass. Several of Stewart's former National Health bandmates make cameo appearances, but you wouldn't notice if you didn't read the credits. "Up from the Dark" is a good album that is worth a listen, though a little more intensity would have helped.
(1=poor 2=mediocre 3=pretty good 4=very good 5=phenomenal)"