In late 1985, there was good reason to believe that Marilyn Martin would become a pop/rock superstar. Her duet with Phil Collins, "Separate Lives," soared to number one on the pop charts, and her supporters assumed that she was going to become as big as Stevie Nicks, Laura Branigan or Pat Benatar. But regrettably, Martin's commercial success turned out to be short-lived -- after 1988's This Is Serious, she was dropped by Atlantic and never recorded another album. Nonetheless, the Southern vocalist had a lot of potential, and she showed considerable promise on this self-titled debut album of 1986. Although this LP doesn't contain "Separate Lives," it's still a solid pop/rock outing and is the more essential of her two Atlantic albums (which isn't to say that This Is Serious isn't highly enjoyable). The producers of Marilyn Martin include, among others, Arif Mardin, Jon Astley and Philip Chapman -- all of whom favor a very slick, glossy, high-tech approach. The high-tech effects make tracks like "Turn It On," "Beauty or the Beast," and the single "Night Moves" sound very dated; everything on this record screams "1980s" in no uncertain terms. However, dated isn't necessarily a bad thing if you hold a particular era in high regard -- and if you're obsessed with all things '80s, the dated production might actually be a plus. Whatever you think of the production, Marilyn Martin is definitely a strong debut.
AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson