Basia

Time and Tide

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Wisely going only by her first name, Polish-by-way-of-England pop singer Basia Trzetrzelewska ("pronounced Basha Tshetshelevska"), joined by her musical partner Danny White, steps out of the band Matt Bianco to launch her solo career with Time and Tide. She and White create a series of keyboard-based dance-pop arrangements to support her smooth alto. This is sophisticated pop music that sounds ideal for playing in any number of upholstered locations -- a black-tie cocktail party, a fashion-show runway, the back seat of a limousine. Basia's lightly accented voice adds an exotic flavor to the Euro-disco style of the music. By dedicating a song to "Astrud," she gives away her intention to be another Astrud Gilberto, but despite declaring in "New Day for You," "I am here, your femme fatale," she isn't really the ice queen that Gilberto was. Actually, "From Now On," which finds her singing over an acoustic guitar, with a luxurious saxophone solo wafting in later on, is closer to "The Girl from Ipanema" than the song written for Gilberto, but even here, Basia is too eager to please. It is easy to imagine songs from this album conquering multiple radio formats -- contemporary jazz, adult contemporary, even Top 40 -- while people in expensive clothes sway to them in dance clubs, and even fitness clubs feature the music for aerobics. So what if there's no musical substance to speak of, no emotional connection to the singing? That's like saying whipped cream has no nutritional content. Right, but who doesn't like it?

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