Martika

Martika

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Not just the Madonna wannabe she is often remembered as, Martika had songwriting skills and enough savvy to choose some of the best hooks of the '80s for her debut album. You'll find yourself singing these songs months after you've heard them. And that's a good thing. Her voice is thin and a bit limited, but she surrounds herself with producers who understand how to put a sheen on a great pop gem. The catchiest song is also the dumbest; "If You're Tarzan, I'm Jane," about a girl willing to adapt to anything her man wants her to be, is somewhat sexist, but it's such fun it's hard to not sing along. The big hit single, "Toy Soldiers," works with its childlike vocals and lyrics, creating a haunting, effective dichotomy with its subject of drug addiction. Martika even has the chutzpah to cover a Carole King song -- "I Feel the Earth Move" -- and actually does it justice. Producer Michael Jay -- writer or co-writer of "Toy Soldiers," "If You're Tarzan, I'm Jane," "More Than You Know," "Cross My Heart," "You Got Me Into This," "It's Not What You're Doing," and "See If I Care" -- shows he has the ear of an amazing pop artist à la Bernie Taupin. The melodies and productions make this album a major success, but if pop isn't your thing, you might not care that these are hooks many superstars would kill for.

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