The Lover in Me

Sheena Easton

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The Lover in Me Review

by Justin Kantor

Sheena Easton bounced back from her unattractive 1987 split from EMI with her most decidedly urban set to date. Enlisting the help of R&B production heavyweights L.A. Reid and Babyface -- as well as Angela Winbush, Jellybean and Prince, she came out with a youthful and trend-savvy offering that has some fun moments, but overall is too formulaic to really say much. The snazzy L.A. and Babyface number "The Lover in Me" (number two pop, number five R&B) is one of the album's most solid, memorable moments, but it soon becomes hard to distinguish from "Days Like This," "No Deposit, No Return" and "One Love" -- three other selections produced by the duo. Easton was apparently becoming more of a producer's puppet than she planned early in her career, as further evidenced by the synthetic "Without You," which is too low in the singer's range to be effective to start with. Luckily, a few saving moments do surface: the Winbush-produced "Fire and Rain," a calming quiet storm ballad that allows Easton to showcase a more vulnerable side of her voice; and the Prince-penned "101," a subtly haunting, understated dance romp with what is one of the singer's most passionate, revealing performances on record. Otherwise, this is a fun record, but a bit too monotonous.

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