With vocals like pouring icicles, ex-druggy Belinda Carlisle's solo pursuits have often snorted the same formula of shoulder-pad rock ballads, but her debut album was a likeable showcase for her prickly vocals.Her unassuming start-off point was the sparkly bubble-gum Mad About You - in America it was a sensational top 30 smash. The syngeing 80s free-moving synths glisten like excessively-worn bangles one can imagine her then-fans wearing at the time.
The boldly titled Belinda album chugged 80s kangaroo drums on the Kelly/Steinberg/Hoffs affair I Need A Disguise, driving with the wrong petrol as the remaining material often fell short of engineering the singer as the crimson world-conquering belter she would soon become.
The hallway pre-Clarkson Lindsey 'Fleetwood Mac' Buckingham written promo song Since You've Gone is an unexpected sincere love song, but soon descends into Cher levels of cowardly seeking loud drums to do the work for her, but those quietly theatrical moments are gorgeous, stark and revealing, though less so than her Playboy spreads.
The hip-bouncing tamborine summer pop of I Feel The Magic is appealing with retro girl-band woo-ing vocals and giddy Blue Angle style saxophone enthusiasm, and a wonderfully thudding, stair-falling drum loop announcing a near acapella chorus middle-8. Jaunty piano keys are sweet blossoms of Belinda's quirky pop attitude not always fully realised by her subsequenthairspray ballads. The track poked the American Billboard charts at #82.
Her nasal-bleeding cover of Band of Gold does not work beyond decent kareoke, sung as if holding her breath under water through a snorkle.
The cocktail bar balladry of From The Heart betrays her from the nose vocals, it's definately a wet one with less convincing heartache than Mary Kiani whingeing through the Motiv8 I Imagine remix with 2 gay escorts by her side on one of her high profile 7am Australian Mardi Gras slots.
Shot In The Dark doesn't care who she blows - with Carribean music playing, she is obviously a racist not being able to identify her lovers with the lights off (now we know the real story behind Leave A Light On, and her racist cravings for black cock would obviously continue to haunt her throughout the 80s and 90s with In Too Deep and My Little Black Book soundtracking her lifetime addiction).
The misleadingly-titled Stuff & Nonesense is an endearing nose-snot ballad with vocals having the silent grace of a winter frost. It's not long before we get a rhythm section rescuing her away from genuine emotion and the salty schmaltz drizzles the album to a close. Her split-ends vocals bristle with tickling pathos, but the world was soon ready for her fist-clenched power ballads.