Sunday, April 16, 2017

Melissa Manchester-Emergency (1983)


It is always an 'emergency' of sorts when it comes to the 80's, because it often means I'm coming down with brand new case of music addiction! As I continue to flashback to the memorable sounds of my childhood decade, I've been reconnecting with some singers I've heard in the not-so-distant past, wanting to explore other uncharted areas of their lifetime discography. Melissa Manchester's 1983 album had started off being just a casual listen as I entered the wee hours of my Saturday morning over this Easter weekend, but I would eventually become so enamored with in it that I absolutely had to give it the feature spotlight! It all began with opening track and new-found Melissa Manchester favorite, "I Don't Care What The People Say", where the super-catchy chorus—highlighted by the backup singers chiming in with their stylistically choppy echoes of 'in-vi-vi-vi-vi-tation' and 'in-for-for-for-for-for-mation; you just gotta hear it to love it!—has still remained embedded in my head more than twenty-four hours later! Familiarity crept into my senses upon taking in the follow-up, "No One Can Love You More Than Me"—first with the title itself, then the accompanying delivery of the lyrics. 'Is this the same song I've heard by dance diva Kym Mazelle?' I wondered. Had to listen carefully twice to confirm that I was exactly right! Playing Kym Mazelle's bombastic house version from her "Brilliant!" album (still adoring her booming soulicious voice and her equally soulicious backup vocalists) right afterwards helped a lot; she clearly totally nailed this one! Yet this Melissa Manchester original that I've finally heard now has its charm with its spunky synthpop beat and the sexy way she teases with the sultry 'I can love you better' tagged on following every pass of the chorus. I get that feel-good feeling about the awesome 80's all over again on the super hi-tech pop/rock jam, "City Nights" (in particular, it gets me thinking about the production to any number of those hits featured on those 80's action movie soundtracks, like "Beverly Hills Cop"), the bouncy, easily-likable pleasure that is "End Of The Affair", plus the sugary 80's bliss that is "That Boy" (I often eat up these simple love songs about a guy where the female singers coat every word in sweet charm). Having a special effect on me are the instantly-appealing " Stop Another Heart Breakin' " (yep—it's that synthesized glitz and the song's overall happy, mellow chords that got to me first, then the super-catchy 'stop another heart breakin'; stop another heart ache'.chimed by Melissa's backup singers) and the soft rock radio-perfect ballad, "White Rose" (her strong vocals and touching words, which both totally deserve to be heard here, contrast nicely with the magical glow of the music). Then there was something that captured me with the concluding piece appropriately entitled "Time". Appropriate, because I did in fact feel like I was frozen in time as my ears took in the slow groove, the lush cinematic melody and the rather haunting words of 'all we have is time' and 'not enough time' sung by the moving voices of the unified background singers:

1. I Don't Care What The People Say
2. No One Can Love You More Than Me
3. City Nights
4. Stop Another Heart Breakin'
5. Emergency
6. End Of The Affair
7. That Boy
8. White Rose
9. Johnny & Mary
10. Time

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