Taylor Dayne

Satisfied

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There's no denying that Taylor Dayne sounds older on Satisfied, her first album in a decade -- that maturity is especially apparent as her music remains tied to her late-'80s heyday, as it's almost all big, bright productions that sound more 1988 than 2008. As it turns out, that evident maturity winds up benefiting Dayne tremendously: by not chasing trends, she sounds as if she's deepening emotionally but, more to the point, she no longer oversings. There is a warm, rounded, tonal quality to her voice, a quality that is especially welcome as she often could sound too harsh and brassy on her '80s hits. Here, she's settled down and so have the songs; they're undeniably retro dance-pop and that retro element gives them a smooth, easy feel. And Satisfied is produced as a pop album -- there is no song longer than 4:33 and most are under four minutes -- which helps keep things moving and also means that missteps, like the ungainly reggae of "She Don't Love You," don't stick around too long. While Dayne does a nice job with covers of "Under the Bridge" and "Fool to Cry," the real noteworthy numbers here are her fine original "Beautiful," a ballad called "Kissing You" co-written by Des'ree, and "My Heart Can't Change," a piece of near-perfect pop co-written by Gregg Alexander and Rick Nowels. These are the most fully realized tunes here, but most of this is enjoyable and it adds up to a good, worthy comeback from Dayne.

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