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Make Believe

Platinum Weird

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Album Review

Before he was in the Tourists and long before he was in the Eurythmics, Dave Stewart was in Platinum Weird, a mid-'70s band that influenced Fleetwood Mac, especially vocalist Stevie Nicks, who was entranced by the emotional and mysterious Erin Grace, Weird's lead singer, who was in a Lindsey Buckingham/Nicks-type relationship with Stewart, right up till she disappeared into rock mythology. A documentary television special was made and then aired on VH1 right as a bunch of fan sites appeared on the Net. Says right here on the back of the disc that these are Weird's lost recordings from back in 1974, but one listen to Make Believe and it's obvious these aren't lost recordings but rather a hoax that has much more to do with mashing Keane, Kelly Clarkson, and the later Eurythmics albums together than reviving the Fleetwood Mac sound. A lot of this has to do with Erin Grace, actually a pseudonym of Kara DioGuardi, a strong vocalist and songwriter who has worked for Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, and plenty of the American Idol winners and finalists. DioGuardi does make an attempt to write outside of her usual style, but she's not trying to recapture the '70s at all. Instead, tracks like "Happiness" and "Goodbye My Love" sound like huge, modern Broadway-bound tunes, which makes some sense when you find out DioGuardi and Stewart first began working together as possible songwriters for the the Pussycat Dolls, who were still a cabaret act rather than the dance-pop "group" they became. "Piccadilly Lane" is one of the few times Make Believe sounds like it has a suitable-for-the-time Beatles hangover, but the other high points — the title track and "Picture Perfect" — are straight 21st century pop/rock with DioGuardi in full effect. The filler sounds like tracks the Eurythmics or Lohan haven't gotten to yet, with DioGuardi pouring her heart into every song, whether the songs fully deserve it or not. In the end, Stewart comes off as an incredibly bland eccentric for claiming this is more mysterious and wild than it is, while DioGuardi steals the show with her inspired performance. The oversold hype sours what is simply a worthwhile, professional pop effort.

Biography

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '00s

The story behind Platinum Weird began when pop songwriter Kara DioGuardi was sent to England by Interscope exec Jimmy Iovine to write for the Pussycat Dolls with former Eurythmics member and fellow songwriter Dave Stewart. Though the meeting didn't produce anything for the expressed purpose, they did end up creating their own material — material that Iovine liked enough to have them make an entire album. Thanks to their star status, DioGuardi and Stewart were able to collaborate with rock stars...
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Make Believe, Platinum Weird
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