Melanie

Am I Real or What?

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Melanie tried to muscle in on synth-orientated dance-pop in 1985, with thoroughly disastrous results. Am I Real or What has the odd engaging lyric, but from start to end, it's spoiled by cheap, electronic, biscuit-tin percussion and other hideous '80s studio trappings. It's almost impossible to recall a single song here, even after repeated listens. For the first time, Melanie's husky-throated singing barely holds the attention, and only the unusual titles, such as "Crack Seeks the Edge," stick to the memory. The mid-'90s CD reissue left out musician credits -- and no great loss, either.

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