Debbie Gibson

Body Mind Soul

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It must be difficult for a teen sensation to bridge herself from her own self-inflicted goody two-shoes labeling to a modern, respectable artist. Debbie Gibson is an artist, having penned nearly all of her songs and produced a good amount as well. Body, Mind, Soul is not the tragedy that Tiffany's New Inside turned out to be, but it surely did not benefit her floundering career. She seeks writing help from Sturken and Rogers, who brought Donny Osmond some of his better late-'80s material. Her collaborations with them (aside from "Love or Money") are gnawing and incessant, and instead of striving for class, she turns in the direction of a female neo-New Kids on the Block. To Gibson's credit, the best songs are those written wholly by her. "Little Birdie" is an indicator of where her career would eventually lead (Broadway) and is light and charming. "When I Say No" is a finely tuned pop surface carrying the message that unwanted sexual persuasion is intolerable. An even bolder message follows on "Kisses for One," which not so subtly speaks against the danger of AIDS. Her lyrics begin with a liberal viewpoint, "living in a world where love is deadly," and end up answering that verse with "chances are the love was not love at all," hinting that the true "cure" is not something that we need a scientist to come up with, it is much simpler: commitment between two people. In yearning for a new direction, it is clear that Debbie has taken a few missteps, mistaking fad for maturity. One of the least accessible tunes from the album was the song chosen as the first single, "Losin Myself," in which she portrays a stripper. "Debbie does R&B" to the tune of a flavorless but provocatively coated ballad. It is something Debbie should not do at all.

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