Rachel Sweet

Blame It on Love

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    5
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AllMusic Review by

Rachel Sweet earned lots of press but little sales for her first two albums for Stiff Records, Fool Around and Protect the Innocent, and while her first album for Columbia proper (they teamed up with Stiff for the U.S. release for the first two LPs), Then He Kissed Me, scored her a minor hit single with "Everlasting Love" (a duet with teen idol Rex Smith), it failed to establish her as a real star in the States. Blame It on Love was an effort to reinvent Sweet as a sexy pop siren, and while she looked great on the cover (a massive improvement over the wildly unflattering front cover shot on Then He Kissed Me), most of the music failed to satisfy. Sweet is in great voice on these ten songs, but she rarely gets a chance to indulge in the hooky but emphatic rock that marked her best music; while she co-wrote and co-produced most of the album with Marc Blatte and Larry Gottlieb, the arrangements are often a mess of '80s pop clich├ęs ("Cruisin' Love" being the worst offender), and the songs are overwrought and uncompelling. It's worth noting than one of the album's best moments, "Paralyzed," was one of two cuts written and produced by Sweet without Blatte and Gottlieb's assistance, which could suggest the album's greatest failing was a poor choice in collaborators, but that doesn't change the fact this was Sweet's weakest album. It was also her last full-length effort, though she redeemed herself with some stellar contribution to the soundtracks to Hairspray and Cry Baby before moving on to a successful career as a writer and producer for a number of hit television shows.

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