Bananarama

Pop Life

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Despite the title, the sole Bananarama album to feature Siobhan Fahey's replacement, Jacquie O'Sullivan, is the vocal trio's decisive break from pop music into Hi-NRG dance. Recorded with a variety of writer/producers ranging all the way back to their original mentor, Steve Jolley (also including Stock-Aitken-Waterman, the architects of their biggest hits, and former Killing Joke bassist Youth, for alt-dance cred), the songs are united by their emphasis on MIDI synthesizers and canned beats. Lacking their most distinctive vocalist (the competent but colorless O'Sullivan was no match for Fahey's occasionally off-key yelp), the trio sounds utterly anonymous, like session singers on their own album. More to the point, whoever suggested that the Doobie Brothers' stoner rock anthem "Long Train Running" was a suitable vehicle for an electronic dance-pop remake should be punished. Severely. That said, the acid house-tinged single "Tripping on Your Love" is actually pretty good.

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