Desmond Child

Discipline

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Although Desmond Child is a superstar, it isn't because of his singing. Child is much better known for his producing and songwriting -- not singing -- and work with major artists like Cher, Bon Jovi, Joan Jett, Chicago, Roxette, and Aerosmith is what made him a huge name in the music world. Nonetheless, Child is a talented, expressive singer. He proved that in the late '70s and early '80s, when he led a great but underexposed group called Desmond Child & Rouge. And he demonstrated that again when, in 1991, he provided his first solo album, Discipline. This Elektra release, which Child produced with Sir Arthur Payson, falls short of exceptional and isn't as risk-taking as Desmond Child & Rouge's work, but it's still decent and enjoyable. Most of the material is stereotypical '80s-sounding commercial rock -- big guitars, big drums, big vocals, big hooks, and a very slick and glossy production style. Discipline is the sort of album that many rock critics love to hate, but then, Child didn't get rich by listening to critics. Although this CD came out 11 years after Rouge's breakup, Child obviously hadn't forgotten about his old group. "Obsession," which Child co-wrote with Burt Bacharach, is a duet with former Rouge member Maria Vidal. And "Do Me Right" is a memorable power ballad that Child wrote for a little-known solo album that Vidal recorded for A&M in 1987. Regrettably, Discipline didn't do much better than Vidal's solo album, and Child didn't record any more solo projects in the '90s. But Discipline, which went out of print after a few years, is worth acquiring if you can hunt down a copy.

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