Maureen Steele

Nature of the Beast

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Steele possesses a solid pop/rock bounce, and the lyrical content of Nature of the Beast certainly isn't limited to the usual formulas employed in the genre. But Steve Barri and Bobby Sandstrom's unimaginative production and melodies largely prevent the set from making any statement. The A-side largely falls prey to these symptoms, as evidenced on the frivolous guitar and programming of the title track and "Physical Therapy." Meanwhile, the hooks of "Save the Night for Me" and "Rock My Heart" tease, but don't follow through with any merit. Side B offers several moments of refuge in the playfully funky "Bad Girls Do It Better" and the laid-back, pleasant "Sidetracked." Additionally, the single "Boys Will Be Boys" (which Motown also included on its soundtrack for The Flamingo Kid), is a hard-to-resist, sugar-coated pop-dance concoction. These entries are quite enjoyable, but can't override all of the filler. More distribution of the writing and production duties -- not to mention a little more grit from Steele on some occasions -- would have served Nature of the Beast well.

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