Won't you c'mon around and hold this girl's hand?
Daniel J. Hamlow | Narita, Japan | 10/19/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The first single, "All This Time" sounds a lot like Madonna's "Crazy For You". The difference is, one reached the Top Five, the other didn't. Her brave face shows in light of an emotional sundering, with no regrets, and full of acceptance that they'll never meet: "The sun still shines, the sun still sets/the heart forgives, the heart forgets." My third favourite song here.A mixture of synths, string and funky bass, "Oh Jackie" has her asking questions to the title character: "you never meant to let me go", "am I all alone", "tell me I'm not just somewhere you outgrew", where the answers all seem to be "yes."The title track has her using her scratchy pre-teen Stevie Nicks voice in places. She offers the hand of friendship of someone who's hurt her in the past and she still feels for: "I promise not to throw you/you don't have to stay; I just want to hold you/won't you come on around and hold an old friend's hand." But there are other wise verses here that made her older than her teen years. This merited a Top Five at the very least, but it tanked on the charts. That she's able to convey such emotion at her age then shows a lot of maturity. This ties with another ballad here as my favourite song.The single "Radio Romance", which is a sung radio dedication, has overtones of 60's Motown pop with a bopping 80's synth beat.The "her" in "We're Both Thinking Of Her" happens to be the narrator's best friend. The idea here can be summed up in this line: "What's she got that I ain't got? She's got you." Nice fuzzy guitar here, and a rhythm beat reminiscent of Jeff Lynne's production."Walk Away While You Can" has a keyboard rhythm like Madonna's "True Blue" about a young girl advised to act out the title because the older man will use her and "your heart's in control and you don't understand.""Drop That Bomb" has leanings towards the R&B pop of "Let's Hear It For The Boy", except I don't recall Deniece Williams using sound effects of a synth "bomb exploding.""It's The Lover (Not The Love)" is yet another winning keyboard ballad--she was getting really good at these exhorts those hurt to try again: "Don't give up in time to find/the one who's right will come to you." The chorus is formed by adding "that deserted you" after the title."I'll Be The Girl" has funky keyboards like Lisa Lisa's "Head To Toe". There's some comfort when she sings "I'll be the pillow you cry on when you're feeling down/I'll be the laughter if ever you think you need a clown.""Hearts Never Lie" has keyboards like Force MD's "Tender Love" and is the "Could've Been" of this album, with backing string synths and electric guitar. Chris Farren, her duet partner, sounds like a juvenile Steve Perry. The reconstruction of love is the theme here, be it "start[ing] all over/one emotion at a time."The "Overture" is a brief acoustic guitar instrumental of the title song theme combined with some bits of "Hearts Never Lie." Fitting, as they are the two best songs here.Even though Tiff doesn't write any of the songs, the songs are better in maturity and lyrical content, and her genuine voice is an excellent conveyor. An evolution over her self-titled debut. So come on around and hold her hand, or this album--you won't regret it."
Not as great as "Tiffany" but still great.
Taylor Hodgkins | The 1980's | 06/09/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Hold An Old Friend's Hand" was realsed on November 21st 1988 and sold 2 million units. It features slightly more mature songs and a very mature 17 year old singer was behind the mic. The only hit from this album is the awesome ballad "All This Time" which hit #6 on the Billboard charts. I thought it was so sad that Tiffany's fans were drifting away from her. This album isn't as great as "Tiffany" but it's still pleasing to the Tiffany fan. It's still bubble gum pop but we have some guitar solos. I was pleased with more synth songs than "Tiffany" but we don't have any "I Think We're Alone Now's" on here but that's okay.
1. "All This Time"- This is an example of the more mature songs on this album. Tiffany has just lost a lover and she doesn't know what to do with "All This Time". Highest chart positon was #6.
2. "Oh Jackie"- I don't know what to think about this song. I think it might be about a best friend who Tiffany fought with and now her friend Jackie is on the radio. It might be about a boyfriend. It's a great song with synths and strong vocals. 9/10
3. "Hold An Old Friend's Hand"- It's the title song, which I don't see why it didn't chart. Lovely song about a boyfriend who Tiff wants to come back into her life. I think this is a cover version of a Tracy Nelson song in 1974. I love the saxs on this song. 10/10
4. "Radio Romance"- Great song about Tiff wanting her best friend's boyfriend and dedicating a song to him on the radio. She sings " I see you baby, every single day holdin' on to my best friend but ya don't see me, so I make the same request now every single night, goin' out from me to you on the dedication line". 10/10
5. "We're Both Thinking Of Her"- My favorite song on the album, a simple song about Tiffany's boyfriend wanting to leave her for her best friend. 10/10.
6. "Walk Away While You Can"- About how Tiffany's friend is with an older guy and she's warning her to walk away while she can. "Better walk away while you can, 'cause your hearts in control and ya don't understand,your still a young girl, he's almost a man better walk away while you can". 10/10
7. "Drop That Bomb"- Cute song about Tiff telling her fans to go after that boy they want. I think the way Tiffany sings the song is kind of annoying. I think this would do better on Debbie Gibson's "Out Of The Blue". I think this song is the type of song that Tiffany didn't want to sing anymore. I reccomend this one to
Debbbie Gibson fans. 5/10
8. "It's The Lover (Not The Love)"- I've aways liked this song because I thought Tiffany really wanted us to know that there is hope after breaking up with someone. I thought she was there for us when she sang this song. 10/10
9. "I'll Be The Girl"- Another "Drop That Bomb" type of song. This one seems like another lost Debroah Gibson song. I do like the part in the middle where she sings, "I'll be the pillow that you cry on' and "I'll be the laughter if ya ever need a clown". I thought Tiffany was tired of singing this song also. Debroah fans would also like this song. 5/10
10. "Hearts Never Lie" (Duet with Chris Farren)- This is like the "Could've Been" or "Feelings Of Forever" of this album. Chris Farren's voice goes well with Tiffany's. Beautiful. 10/10
11. Overture- Beautiful guitar pieces of "All This Time", "Hearts Never Lie" and "Hold An Old Friend's Hand". 10/10
Overall score: 8/10: Great songs. More mature vocals. Two sound like lost Debroah Gibson songs. Her next album "New Inside" is a totally different sound after breaking with George Tobin. This album is not boring but not as great as "Tiffany".
Taylor Hodgkins 6/9/06"