Evelyn Thomas

Standing at the Crossroads

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Though it's only eight tracks long, Standing at the Crossroads can become long-winded due to the relative same-soundingness of each of its up-tempo club numbers -- most registering from seven to eight minutes in length. There are a couple of enjoyable numbers, like the fun "Cold Shoulder" and the quirky "Sorry Wrong Number," but on the whole, the material is subpar. Whereas writers and producers Ian Levine and Fiachra Trench had crafted a soulfully pop, funkily melodic brand of distinction on Thomas' albums,I Wanna Make It on My Own and High Energy, there is an over-exerted blandness to the material here. Clich├ęd background vocals and thinly veiled programming are substituted for the fuller arrangements that graced the aforementioned albums. At times, it's due to Levine and Trench being over-conscious of trends; but sometimes, they're simply stumped for ideas. Even Thomas sounds sleepy and strained on the weaker numbers. Standing at the Crossroads was originally released in 1987 as the follow-up to High Energy, but has since been reissued by Hot Productions on CD. Though the set holds appeal for true Thomas connoisseurs, more casual fans are better off seeking the 12" singles for "Sorry Wrong Number" and "Cold Shoulder," if they can locate them.

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