Stacey Q

Better Than Heaven

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Stacey Q was one of the myriad of Madonna wannabes who saturated the airwaves in the mid-'80s, but, unlike many of the pack, her debut album Better Than Heaven showed panache and a knowledge that she shouldn't take herself too seriously. The sexy monster hit "Two of Hearts," synthesized and insistent, benefited greatly from Q's breathy, little-girl vocals, while "We Connect," her only other venture into the Top 40; "Music out of Bounds," which doesn't seem to mean a thing; "Love or Desire"; and "Dancing Nowhere" all followed in the same vein, without being a blueprint of the lead single. She does stray from the sex-kitten image on some cuts, and it is a cotton-candy result: lighter than air, but a tasty treat. The title track is a sweet ode to love; "He Doesn't Understand" is repetitive to the point where she's practically chanting, but the effect is almost lulling; and "Don't Let Me Down" is so frothy the song practically floats. Her vocals, hardly noteworthy, are perfect for this type of pop, and with a voice so limited, anyone can sing along. Though she became more experimental with successive albums, Better Than Heaven is Stacey Q's most accessible and most enjoyable work.

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