Swing Out Sister

Get in Touch with Yourself

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For their debut album Swing Out Sister fit in snuggly with the British sophisti-pop scene while on their follow-up they added more vintage lounge and 1960s spy soundtrack touches to what was essentially a 1980s synth pop sound. For Get in Touch With Yourself the band bring together the two approaches, making this a more sonically creative album than It's Better to Travel while at times fitting into mainstream adult contemporary more easily than Kaleidoscope World. Get in Touch With Yourself is also a stronger album overall than either, with a better-written batch of songs, including the title track, "Notgonnachange," and "Am I the Same Girl," an old '60s dancefloor hit that was rediscovered (and much sampled) after Swing Out Sister resurrected it here. For all the album's strengths, however, it shows how the band was trapped between two worlds at the early stage of their career: the retro-futurist instrumentals and sonic flourishes on Get in Touch With Yourself are probably too adventurous for mass appeal while the album is too slick, airbrushed, and tied into modern adult contemporary to draw in alternative listeners. In a way, this has always been Swing Out Sister's problem -- they're either too hip or too square...and often at the same time. The songs from this album that are featured on their next release, the import-only Live at the Jazz Cafe, are infinitely more appealing and exciting than the versions heard here. Thankfully, after this album, the band would be able to bring that level of excitement to their studio albums as well. Sadly, this would cost the band any label or radio support even as the quality of their studio work improved immeasurably.

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