In 1988, New York pop singer Taylor Dayne was ubiquitous. Understandable, too; her music blended catchy pop melodies with Ms. Dayne’s powerful, husky voice.—and It didn’t hurt that she was extremely easy on the eyes, either. This being the late eighties, it wasn’t surprising that Tell It To My Heart, her debut album, would be a multimillion seller and would spawn four major radio hits.
Her introduction to the world was “Tell It To My Heart,” perhaps her most enduring number. While its synth-pop melodies belie the era, what really won people over was her voice; at once strong and confident, yet she was capable of tenderness and sensitivity. It was a potent combination, due in part to a background that included folk, classical, new wave, and dance. Her follow-up singles show her range; “Don’t Rush Me” was a mid-tempo pop number, “I’ll Always Love You” was a lovely, jazzy ballad, while “Prove Your Love” was dance floor fun.
Like many other artists with multiple smash hit singles from one album, it’s easy to dismiss the the rest of the album as filler, and Tell It To My Heart suffers somewhat from the same fate. It didn’t help that it is a ten-track album, and two of the four singles culled their b-sides from the album. It didn’t help, either, that those two songs—the catchy “In The Darkness” and “Upon The Journey’s End,” the powerful album-closing ballad—were the best of the six non-album songs. A cover of Honey Comb’s hit song “Want Ads” is nice, but “Carry Your Heart” and “Where Does That Boy Hang Out” are lesser numbers.
This deluxe edition expands on the ten-song album with a ton of remixes of the four singles. Some of the mixes are definitely better than others; many of these b-sides and extended versions suffer from a winsome, dated sound. The sole non-remix bonus track, “Willpower,” was a song donated to a tribute benefit record, and is a fine number on its own.
Taylor Dayne would quickly follow Tell It To My Heart with another hit album, Can’t Fight Fate, and though she still continues to record and perform, her career peaked with these two excellent albums. While Tell It To My Heart might be an atypical Eighties pop album, it is an album enhanced with four wonderful pop numbers that are rightly still in rotation three decades later.
Categories: Album Reviews