Lisa Stansfield : Face Up

She's back! Still sultry, still soulful, still slightly dull...

So distinctive is her voice and material, that as 'I've Got Something' gently eases into life it's hard to imagine that 'oop norf's' favourite lass Lisa Stansfield has ever been away. The fact she'd locked herself away with favoured producer (and husband) Ian Devaney as well as former Living In A Box vocalist Richard Darbyshire has resulted in a project so blue eyed it could probably get selected for the German football team.

'Face Up' is a sensible, fairly engaging album that for some inexplicable reason feels a compulsion to steer itself towards MOR. The lead single 'Let's Just Call It Love' contains an in-vogue two-step rhythm which only succeeds in rendering it the worst wannabe UK garage tracks ever, a feat further challenged with another bandwagon jumping concoction 'Don't Leave Me Now I'm In Love'. Contemporary soulful pop numbers like 'I'm Coming To Get You' and the title track, chug along adequately enough against an intermittent selection of ballads appear and the big band inspired 'How Could You?'.

Overall, this is a predictably safe album which confirms Stansfield's 'if it ain't broke, why fix it ethos' which essentially which means she'll win a Brit nomination and won't offend anyone (except listeners looking for a return to form album and something challenging from one of the UK's formerly foremost talents).

Sam Faulkner
6 / 10

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