Marilyn Martin's second album, This Is Serious, found the Southern pop/rocker continuing to work with producer Jon Astley, who had done some producing on her self-titled debut album of 1986 and produced most of this LP (except for some tunes that were produced by either Terry Brown or Patrick Leonard and Michael Verdick). Martin wanted a different production style for her sophomore album, and she got it -- while her first LP had a very slick, high-tech, synthesizer-driven sound, This Is Serious favors a more organic production style than its predecessor. This Is Serious doesn't sound as programmed as Marilyn Martin, but in terms of the songs themselves, this 1988 release wasn't all that radical a departure from her first album. Martin was still a commercial, radio-friendly pop/rock vocalist, and her appreciation of R&B continued to assert itself. Even though This Is Serious is very much a pop/rock record, there are hints of R&B on spirited, infectious tracks like "Try Me," the title song, and the single "Possessive Love" (which Madonna co-wrote). And that isn't surprising because Martin was quick to point out that she grew up listening to R&B extensively. This Is Serious had the makings of a hit, but surprisingly, the album turned out to be a commercial disappointment -- which resulted in Atlantic dropping Martin. Even though Marilyn Martin is the more essential of her two albums, This Is Serious is also quite enjoyable.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson