Classic Freestyle Review.....Alisha

ChuckD

The Gay Lord of Freestyle
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Review of Alisha's debut album, "Alisha" by Alex Henderson.

Madonna's popularity inspired numerous clones in the '80s — most of whom lacked even a fraction of her talent. But one Material Girl disciple who gave us some decent club hits and pop/dance numbers was the New York teenager Alisha, who doesn't have a great voice by any means, but projects enough spirit and energy to make this self-titled debut work. While she doesn't do anything significant or noteworthy with Kirsty MacColl's "One Little Lie," Alisha definitely has enjoyable and infectious dance-floor hits in "All Night Passion," "Baby Talk" and "Too Turned On" — all of which are full of the type of high-tech effects that were so prevalent in '80s R&B and dance music. To be sure, Alisha isn't the type of artist one associates with Vanguard Records — a label that's perhaps best known for recording Joan Baez and other folk legends. The word "legend" hardly applies to Alisha, though this CD definitely has its moments. — Alex Henderson


Review of Alisha's follow up album, "NightWalkin'" by William Ruhlmann

In the tradition of many disco divas, teenager Alisha is essentially the mouthpiece for the dance productions of Mark Berry, who constructs powerful percussion tracks with icy keyboards and the rhythmic, emotive singing of Alisha on top. It's a formula, but you can dance to it. "Into My Secret" got to #97 in the pop chart. — William Ruhlmann


Review of the album "Bounce Back" by Alex Henderson.

For Alisha, switching from a small independent label to a major proved to be the wrong move commercially. At Vanguard, the Madonna-esque singer enjoyed a handful of dance-club hits in the mid-1980s. But when she reached adulthood and joined MCA with 1990's Bounce Back, Alisha seemed to fall between the corporate cracks. The little-known CD, produced by Michael Jay, isn't extraordinary by any means, but it does contain some catchy dance-pop tunes, including "Love Will Talk," "Kiss Me Quick" and "(Ain't No) Better Love." However, its best songs are "Wrong Number" and the title song, both of which Jay had co-written and given to dance-pop duo Fire On Blonde in the 1980s. Fire's versions were superior, though Alisha's aren't bad. Despite having some decent songs, Bounce Back was a major disappointment commercially, and Alisha, dropped by MCA, seemed to disappear. — Alex Henderson
 
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