Anastacia's sophomore outing, Freak of Nature, continues with the late-'80s bombastic funk/soul/pop revival ushered in by her debut, Not That Kind, but this time there's a few more ballads in the mix. Anastacia also leans more toward straightforward rock on this outing, while still maintaining the irresistible dance grooves that made her debut an international success. The album kicks off to a rocking start with the title track, which boasts a sinuous guitar solo reminiscent of "American Woman" and then leads into the soulful, bombastic rocker "Paid My Dues," a massive European hit. Other shining moments include the dramatic "One Day in Your Life," which follows the same formula as her previous hit, "I'm Outta Love," but better, with more soaring, epic vocals, and sounds like a rock version of a forgotten disco classic. The feel-good soul-funk vibe of "Don't Stop (Doin' It)" is a massive hit waiting to happen, and perfect for a breezy summer afternoon. When Anastacia slows down the tempo for the ballads (some organic and acoustic, some bordering on power ballads), she succeeds by utilizing her strong vocal chops without venturing into vocal histrionics. Reminiscent of Taylor Dayne at times, Anastacia successfully avoids the sophomore slump by delivering an album full of raw emotion, power, and musicality which manages to improve upon its predecessor. As a final note, the Destiny's Child-sounding "Why'd You Lie to Me" and the sassy "Don'tcha Wanna" both appear on the American version of Not That Kind.
AllMusic Review by Jose F. Promis