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Colored Lights

Debbie Gibson

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Album Review

Deborah Gibson's theatrical soul has often made close brushes with her pop persona. Even while singing all that '80s nostalgia, there were traces of a young Broadway starlet seeping through. In between previous pop releases, Gibson acted on and off Broadway in just about everything (notably Les Miserables, Disney's Beauty and the Beast, and opposite Betty Buckley in Gypsy). Here, at last, is her no-nonsense "Broadway Album." For those outside walking distance to the venues in which she performed, this will be the first full-on introduction to Gibson as theatrical star. The track selections are wise, ranging from familiar ("On My Own") to obscure (the upbeat Latin pop song "Raise the Roof"), with traditional and modern imprints stamped according to her taste. She pads the album with "Sex," self-penned doo wop from an upcoming project, which works as an interlude. Poor fans who fear that she is headed down a dark tunnel that leads to a public kiss with Madonna should listen carefully to her lyrical winking: "Dad's '59 Chevy or Grandma's Ford Fairlane...anyplace is fair game." Now, the question is, where will Gibson's career lead from here? She wrote some amazing material on 1995's Think With Your Heart, some of which could easily stand against these classics. The focal point of this album is Gibson — the white light is all hers. The very fine orchestrations are secondary to her vocals, there are no duets, and backup singers are in limited supply. But it works. She is at ease, aims to please, and obviously enjoys every bit of what she's doing. The showstopper "They All Laughed" casts a sweet, frenetic spell and is vocally and instrumentally the highlight of the album — most particularly when she chuckles, rumbles, and squeaks at the finish. There are two things requested of listeners in order to fully enjoy this project: that they be fans of Gibson and fans of theater. If you fit the playbill, you're in luck.

Biography

Born: 31 August 1970 in Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Debbie Gibson became a pop phenomenon in the late '80s, scoring a string of hit singles when she was only 17. Although she was still a teenager, Gibson showed signs of being a talented pop craftsman, capable of making catchy dance-pop in the style of Madonna, as well as lush, orchestrated ballads. Gibson's time at the top of the charts was brief, but...
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Colored Lights, Debbie Gibson
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