Deborah Cox

One Wish

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AllMusic Review by

Arista set out to make a huge star of Deborah Cox. Her first album scored a couple of moderate hits, but with her second they were poised to turn the burgeoning belter into a new Whitney Houston. That didn't quite happen, but the set did make her into a considerable star, thanks in part to her monster cross-format smash "Nobody's Supposed to Be Here." An interesting thing happened the year before this album's release. Cox recorded a song for the Money Talks soundtrack, "Things Just Ain't the Same." The song was not a big hit initially, but a dance mix picked up steam in clubs across the U.S., and after several months turned into a huge dance smash, which in turn opened the singer to a whole new audience almost unexpectedly. Therefore, the first official single from One Wish, "Nobody's Supposed to Be Here," was released as an R&B ballad to urban radio stations, and as a revved-up club anthem to pop stations and club DJs. The song was a smash, spending countless weeks atop the R&B charts and eight weeks at number two on the U.S. pop charts, cementing the singer's newfound broad appeal. That feat wasn't repeated, although the album scored another Top Ten pop hit with dramatic ballad "We Can't Be Friends," a duet with labelmate R.L. of the group Next. The album's musical spectrum was varied, ranging from the typical cheating man song popular at the time (the second single, "It's Over Now," which, in a remixed version, topped the dance charts), to safe middle-of-the-road, adult contemporary fare ("Couldn't We" and the beautiful "One Day You Will"), funky R&B tunes (one of the set's highlights, "One Wish"), and club anthems, including the dance mix of "Things Just Ain't the Same." Cox's voice, a powerhouse unto itself, sounds just as effective and very sweet when she's not belting out a tune Whitney Houston-style (evident on "I Won't Give Up"). The album also includes a bonus track, which is a hip-hop mix of the set's mid-tempo opener "September." A good album, which includes a couple of quintessential 1990s dance hits, and a prime example of Arista's incomparable marketing savvy.

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