He's not in puppy love anymore.
Tim Brough | Springfield, PA United States | 03/19/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"One of the 80's most unlikely comebacks was that of Donny Osmond, who must have been really annoyed to hear the same kind of pop he and his brothers pioneered in the 70's being re-popularized by the likes of George Michael and the New Kids On The Block. And given that his old contemporary Michael Jackson was still insanely popular, Donny probably was thinking there had to be room at the table for him, too. But then again, who was willing to think of Donny Osmond in terms other than dancing in Hawaiian Shirts or doing corny TV shows with sister Marie? He needed a story to get him back to front. So when Capitol first sent out the single of "Soldier Of Love," it went to radio as a 'white label' 45 with nothing but a song title. By the time uber-hip DJ's discovered they were playing Donny Osmond, the cat was out of the bag and the single was already taking on a life of its own. It was goodbye, "Puppy Love," hello grown-up teen idol.
That 1989 success gave Donny the leeway to make a follow-up, and it was just as good as Donny Osmond. While "Eyes Don't Lie" also sounds very much of its time (ooo! Those big drums, those clubby synths!), it is certainly no embarrassment. The first single, "My Love is a Fire," has a Princely-pulse and dance-floor chants, giving those new kids a show of how to do it. Even more impressive was how Donny got to control a great deal of this album, as he co-wrote eight of the ten songs here.
Of these, the ballad "Love Will Survive" is the song that most deserved to become a hit. The peppy "Take Another Try," which cheekily samples "One Bad Apple" was also a lost shot at a hot. Sadly, once the comeback novelty has become old news, radio went back to treating Donny's new songs as old news. The thing is, this CD has held up as well as many CD's from the period. Donny's voice is still supple and rich, belying his three decades of music making.
When this album didn't catch commercial fire, Donny's next move was to star in Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and drove that CD to platinum success. The two albums before his run on the stage set him up for a new career plateau, one that he has maintained. Why "Eyes Don't Lie" and "Donny Osmond" are out of print is peculiar, but I am glad to still have this. Even more so because - during my radio days - Donny signed my copy when I bet him if he gave me an Osmond A-side, I could tell him the B. Best out of five.
I won the bet. I treasure this CD."