April 08, 2019

Laura Branigan - Branigan (1982)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Pop, Ballad
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© 1982-1987 Atlantic Records
AllMusic Review by Bryan Buss
Laura Branigan became an international name with the release of "Gloria" from this, her debut album. That remake of an Italian pop hit entrenched itself in Billboard's Top Ten, peaking at number two and securing itself as an anthemic classic. While it perfectly fit her aggressive, dramatic voice, the second single, the over-synthesized and borderline-boring ballad "All Night With Me," didn't do nearly as well, failing to even break the Top 40, practically ensuring that she would become another one-hit wonder casualty. (Luckily, Branigan deftly avoided that fate by recording and releasing Branigan 2, which had better production and better songs and was a more cohesive collection in which she seemed more comfortable.) The rest of this album, despite being worth checking out simply for Branigan's powerful voice, is middling at best. Though she finds nuances in lyrics and melodies that are not up to her talent, the production often bogs the album down, especially on the ballads. "I Wish We Could Be Alone" and "Maybe I Love You" are all right, but the aforementioned "All Night With Me" and "Lovin' You Baby" are so mediocre, the album, already a small collection at nine songs, would be stronger if they had simply been omitted. "If You Loved Me" fares best as it is more laid-back and the production supports the melody as opposed to overshadowing it. The theatrical "Living a Lie," the frantic "Please Stay, Go Away," and the groovy "Down Like a Rock" lift the album up so that "Gloria" isn't the only worthwhile cut. Branigan shows the young singer getting her footing so she can move on to more accomplished material that can keep up with her killer voice.

tags: laura branigan, branigan, branigan album, 1982, flac,


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