(5 out of 5 stars)
"This CD contains all the tracks off the American version of the same name plus 5 bonus tracks.While most Sheena fans are familiar with the American version songs; it is the bonus tracks that make this CD worth the money alone.Family of One, Please Don't Sympathise and (especially) Right or Wrong, make you wonder why were these tracks left off of other LPs when originally issued.Right or Wrong is far superior to most of the non bonus tracks.The two remaining bonus trax Paradox and Summer's Over are haunting but are avail on other CDs.If you like the first two Sheena American releases get this CD."
Nice Place To Start
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The best way to appreciate the vocal artistry of Sheena Easton is to listen to her albums in sequential order. It is then you get to hear the remarkable growth she has made from her early beginnings up to her most recent work. She is one of the few artists whose work has generally improved throughtout her long career. This debut album was recorded in 1980 after she was discovered in a BBC program called The Big Time, which was a cross of the now familar formats of American Idol and Making Of The Band. The album was a huge global success and achieved Gold status here in the US. It featured two top twenty hits in the US and four(!) top 40 hits in the UK. The album is very british sounding with hints if new wave underlying the obvious ABBA influences. It also marked the beginning of a Sheena Easton trademark in it's diversity in song styles. Throughout it all, you hear a young singer who is clearly talented and blessed with great range and phrasing. Yet you gat the sense of a singer who is trying to sing her best instead of feeling the song and adding a sense of individuality. This is typical of a debut album, especially one who was so young and thrust into a recording career so quickly. Opening the cd is Morning Train (9 To 5) was the biggest hit on the album, hitting number one in seventeen countries. It is a slice of pop culture and very finely crafted pop. The comparisons to a purer sounding Olivia-Newyon John began with this single. Don't Send Flowers gives a better sense of the sound of the overall album with its new-wave synths. Typically strong vocals over a stong drum beat with rather silly lyrics. Cry is the first sign of versatilty. It is a country ballad and hints at the subtlety that Sheena would show in later releases. Take My Time is a classic pop song with a strong, catchy hook. Prisoner is a highlight on the album. It is a standout track that rocks, even by today's standards. Easton shows that she can handle the harder edge that the track implores. She sounds at her most relaxed here, as if the challenge to do something different inspired her and let her have some fun. Sounds like something Heart would later record. Modern Girl again shows the diversity. It was the second Top Twenty single in the US and moves in more of a dance style. Again great hook. One would never imagine how far Easton would come in terms of vocals from this track. Her voice sounds very thin, a combination from nerves (she was being filmed during this seesion, being young(21) and the mix used on her voice, which while it gave her a sheen, glossy sound, tended to make her voice sound technical. So Much In Love hinted at the softer, nuanced vocal Easton is capable of. While the production is definitely dated, her vocal is a standout, being very breezy and at times sounding a bit like Sade (especially during the verses). Voice On The Radio is the one true clunker on the album. The corny lyric was typical of early eighties fare and Easton sounds like she's screaming over the chorus. One Man Woman is another great pop song with multi-layed Easton vocals (something else that would pervade her work). Calm Before The Storm (JZ's favorite)in hauting fashion. While I still haven't clearly figured out the lyric on this one, the sentiment and feeling is there from the beautiful piano arrangement and the vocal, which while again does not hint at how big and full her voice would become, does show she could clearly handle an emotional ballad. The bonus tracks recorded during these sessions that are included on the re-issue include Right Or Wrong, an acoustic midtempo number that has a country feel to it. Paradox, a beautiful love song which showcases Easton's vocal range from her developing lower register to her piercing higher register. Summer's Over, a moody, calypso-styled midtempo song with a softer look at Easton's smoky midrange and nice harmonies during the chorus'. Also recorded during these sessions but not included on the re-issue are When He Shines, which was included on her second album and became a top 30 Pop hit and massive AC hit, is a classic Easton power ballad building in both arrangement and vocal. It is the one track above all the shows what Easton would truly be capable of. You finally get to hear the perfectly controlled vibrato Easton would soon perfect. No One Ever Knows id a British sounding ballad, which again better demonstrates what power and range she possesses. Overall, a better than average debut but when compared with her body of work, the weakest of the lot."
The bonus tracks make this a must buy!
Frank Gaertner | Atlanta GA USA | 10/12/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Why is it so often that an artist's first CD is her best? Perhaps it's because there are no expectations for a first CD. Regardless of the reason, Sheena's first CD is definitely her best. She and her producer, Christopher Neil, chose 10 catchy pop songs for this album. Neil gives Sheena room to breathe life into each of these pop gems. She sounds young, excited, and sympathetic on these tracks. And I agree with the reviewer before me - when I heard the bonus tracks, I wondered why they had been cut from the original album! So often the bonus tracks are long remixes and other rarities that only an artist's mother could love, but these bonus cuts are classic Sheena. This is well worth your money."