"After "Human's Lib" and "Dream Into Action:, I was all fired up to hear what HoJo had in store for us the next go around. What I got, was what I think, is his most disappointing album. "You Know I Love You" somewhat sounds like HoJo was trying to re-visit "Things Can Only Get Better" but it didn't work. "No One Is To Blame" was originaly on "Dream Into Action". This new version was produced by Phil Collins. The two songs that I really do like on this album are "Will You Still Be There?" and "Give Me Strength". I think HoJo spent a lot of time arranging this album, and trying new ideas and concepts. The songs seem well produced but lack the warmth and infectiousness of his previous works. Which is ironic since he began to use live musicians more on this album than on his previous two."
You Know I Love Howard's Music...Don't You?
Mars Velvet | Green Tree, Blue Earth...Deep Space | 09/29/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is by far my fave album from HoJO!"You Know I Love You...Don't You" is a fast rhythm pacer with a bunch of sexy similees like "i'm the steam engine and you are the tracks...roll over me I'll be rolling right back!". "Give & Take (Balance of Love)" is sung with backup singer Caron Wheeler I believe which creeps its way into a duet with Howard and Caron sparring really well together! This so should have been a single!"All I Want" is a penultimate HoJo lovesong. Predating "Everlasting Love" this song became the second single from the album. This is really a sweet invitation to spend a lifetime together as only Howard can deliver."Where Are We Going?" has this neat little vocal sample loop that forms a sorta beat pattern. A song about refusing to conforming to others expectations and using your full potential. Very HoJo to slide in some issues here!"Don't Want To Fight Anymore" Howard gets down and boogies! Backup singers, fast loud ranting just makes this a great song!!""Step Into These Shoes" is a busy song with phone bells and horns which settles around the chorus'. "Step into these shoes and feel this heart..."."Will You Still Be There" is an achy song that Howard sings so sweetly. Released as a fourth single this song went nowhere. (Meanwhile so did Howard as he went to NYC to open his veggie bistro "NOWHERE"!). Still this is such a beautiful song it remains a fan favorite."Good Luck Bad Luck" sparkles with synth! Howard is a bit of Taoist and you can compare this one to "Is There a Difference" on the DREAM INTO ACTION album."Give Me Strength" is so cool! It's as if Howard has saved the best for the later part of the album! Reggae rhythm, rapper style delivery, and a neat processed vocal sample that jumps from speaker to speaker!"Little Bit of Snow" is the only antidrug song that could make rocks cry. Rather than preach the ill effects of drugs, Howard just basically says he wants you let people help you. "Please give you to us...don't destroy yourself in a little bit of snow".
Acoustic piano, strings and vibraphone make this musically one of his prettiest tunes. This was the third single, released only in the UK. (Around this time I believe there was a controversial article in one of the London papers that explained how crack was made which outraged many people. This song would later be put on an Antidrug Benefit record along with Bananamrama's "Hooked on love".)"No One is To Blame" is a remade version originally from the DREAM INTO ACTION album. More synth, backup vocals and Phil Collins, this became HoJo's biggest hit! But to be honest, it's so overplayed they should have put "Roll Over", an unbelievable omission from ONE TO ONE that became a b-side later on.This was a turning point in Howard's career where he cared less about looking kooky and focused on being a great songwriter. So...what are you doing? Go buy it!"
A synthesizer wizard slowly begins to mature with this one
29-year old wallflower | West Lafayette, IN | 10/20/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It's fair to say that the 1980s in pop music was all about synthesizers & computers. A song wasn't considered complete unless it had the requisite bloops & bleeps that made it sound like the equivalent of a Pac-Man game. So often, those songs became dated just as soon as their 4 minutes were up & are hard to listen to today with an open mind. But not all synthesized songs were that way. Or the players for that matter. Howard Jones first came to attention with his 1984 album HUMAN'S LIB which had hits in "What Is Love" & "New Song", both of which were actually quite memorable, synthesizers aside. 1985's DREAM INTO ACTION further pushed the electronic envelope with more hits like "Things Can Only Get Better" & "Life In One Day". But by the middle of the decade, artists were realizing the limitations of pursuing a strictly-synthesized sound & Jones was one of them. So for his 1986 album ONE TO ONE, he sought to slowly phase out his synthesizers (which he played wonderfully, by the way) in favor of a more acoustic keyboard sound. The reason why this album didn't become a huge success like DREAM INTO ACTION was that none of the songs on here became top 10 hits...at first. The wonderful "No One Is To Blame" originally appeared on DREAM INTO ACTION in an acoustic, Elton John-derived ballad that is widely thought to be the superior version. But whether it was Jones' idea or his record label's, the then-hot Phil Collins was brought in to remix the song so that it could be re-released. The song became a top 5 hit in 1986 & originally appeared only on an EP called ACTION REPLAY. Later editions of ONE TO ONE had the remix of "No One Is To Blame" added on, but whether or not that was to help boost the sales of the album is hard to tell. In the end, it didn't really help. The only major hit off here was the opening "You Know I Love You...Don't You?", which isn't exactly a carbon copy of "Things Can Only Get Better", but is just as bright & synthesized-poppy as that song. It's probably understandable why it never reached higher than the top 20. Most of ONE TO ONE follows the same beat of that song: "Don't Want To Fight Anymore", "Step Into These Shoes" (although the sound effects kind of drag it down), "All I Want" & "Good Luck, Bad Luck" are rather good, just not all-out stunners. It's on slower songs that Howard does a better job on like "Will You Still Be There?" & the reggae-inspired "Give Me Strength". The acoustic "Little Bit Of Snow" is basically just Howard singing with piano & it's a good foreshadowing of the completely non-synthesized territory he has travelled with his music currently. The remix of "No One Is To Blame" may have been the hit, but the original truly is the definitive version, even though the lyrics are still truly a wonder to behold. His lyrics really proved that Elton John was Howard's biggest inspiration. In retrospect, ONE TO ONE wasn't all that different from his much-superior two previous albums. But the best parts show that Howard Jones really was starting to move on from the synthesized sound that his biggest hits were made on. 1989's CROSS THAT LINE & 1992's IN THE RUNNING would prove it even more, but ONE TO ONE was every bit of a transition effort; that being from synthesizer prodigy to acoustic keyboardist."
Consistent But Not Very Engaging
29-year old wallflower | 08/08/1999
(3 out of 5 stars)
"One to One is a very consistent album. Howard Jones has always been a good songwriter, but I've always found that a lot of his material is not very engaging. Good music, but not always very listenable. Most of the songs on here try hard, but still don't leave much of an impression on me. I like the earlier version of "No One is to Blame" better than the version on here. I really like the intro to "Balance of Love," but the rest of the song isn't that great. An okay album. Human's Lib is his best album."