Shannon - A Beauty Returns (2006)

Shannon
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Arriving with a plethora of young female singers who hit their stride in the 80s, Shannon's popular success has largely been forgotten -- save for her #1 hit "Let the Music Play" -- and that's too bad.  Her unassuming voice was often underrated, but her cool, aloof delivery was just right for a series of dance-oriented cuts on her two popular Mirage label albums of that era.  Unfortunately, her star fell almost as quickly as it rose, so it was a surprise to find that two decades later she is not only around, but has released a brand new album, A Beauty Returns.  What's even a bigger surprise is how good the music sounds.  Shannon was best known for the grooves in her music, and A Beauty Returns producer Will Roberson does a nice job of updating those dance sounds for adult audiences.  So cuts like the steppers' anthem "Afterwork Party," "Don't Be Afraid" and "Island Life" create a solid basis for album of memorable tunes and nice vocal arrangements.  Other than a f

Arriving with a plethora of young female singers who hit their stride in the 80s, Shannon's popular success has largely been forgotten -- save for her #1 hit "Let the Music Play" -- and that's too bad.  Her unassuming voice was often underrated, but her cool, aloof delivery was just right for a series of dance-oriented cuts on her two popular Mirage label albums of that era.  Unfortunately, her star fell almost as quickly as it rose, so it was a surprise to find that two decades later she is not only around, but has released a brand new album, A Beauty Returns.  What's even a bigger surprise is how good the music sounds.  Shannon was best known for the grooves in her music, and A Beauty Returns producer Will Roberson does a nice job of updating those dance sounds for adult audiences.  So cuts like the steppers' anthem "Afterwork Party," "Don't Be Afraid" and "Island Life" create a solid basis for album of memorable tunes and nice vocal arrangements.  Other than a few ill-advised rap interludes, Beauty is musically enjoyable throughout.  Lyrically, the disc is forgettable, running through the trite party, sexual affair and dance themes that dominated 80s dance music.  But A Beauty Returns isn't intended to be a doctoral thesis.  It is an invitation to a groove, and it that regard it works pretty well.

By Chris Rizik

 
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