Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Record Rack

* * * * Great Balls of Fire * * * Good Vibrations * * Maybe Baby * Running on Empty : : Belinda: Going Stronger

November 01, 1987|CONNIE JOHNSON

* * 1/2 BELINDA CARLISLE. "Heaven on Earth." MCA. This album is a big improvement over last year's "Belinda," Carlisle's debut solo album. That album was so nondescript that it made her seem foolhardy for leaving the Go-Go's, the female band she fronted through several effervescent albums. On "Belinda," she even managed to sound out of her depth on "Band of Gold," a lightweight '70s pop/soul hit by Freda Payne that should have given no problems to a confident, style-conscious singer. The overall image of Carlisle on the album was one of discomfort, as if in the back if her wind she was wondering, "Have I made the wrong move?"

Carlisle comes across stronger on this follow-up effort as she aims for commercial gusto on the album's most inviting track, the anthemic "Heaven Is a Place on Earth." While that cut rocks authoritatively, her remake of Cream's "I Feel Free"--which isn't even one of that '60s band's better tunes--sounds wobbly and awkward in spots; other tracks ("Circle in the Sand," "World Without Love") have her sounding a bit tentative.

Side 2 picks up considerably, opening with "I Get Weak," in which Carlisle observes with coy submission, "My heart's all tangled up / My tongue is tied / It's crazy. . . ." With its layered, overlapping harmonies, the song is a virtual hook-fest, not unlike "Fool for Love," a driving rocker that gives Carlisle plenty of room to shift into vocal overdrive.

As long as she finds more songs that encourage her to come on strong ("Nobody Owns Me") and fewer that make her sound wimpy and undistinguished ("Should I Let You In"), Carlisle should have no problem living up to the enormous potential she showed during the Go-Go's years.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|