Urban Contemporary, 2001
After an absence of two years, Lisa Stansfield’s back. And sounding just like she did and has always did since her big hit All Around the World. This is not good news, as most of Face Up sounds dated and old. It’s as fresh as your grandparents’ old sock collection.
Any fan of Lisa Stansfield will know what to expect from this album, and unfortunately, expectation is met with nary an element of surprise, adventure, or experimentation. Songs like the first single Let’s Just Call It Love and the title track sounds too much as if they are stuck in the 1980s in a dull and not very hip retrospective manner. Only in the rare moments of Boyfriend does Ms Stansfield sound as if she is having fun and she is still relevant in today’s pop culture.
But most of the time she’s too happy playing it safe with tired, dull, ploddy, if well produced pop songs that show their age. An online friend of mine swore that he saw Ms Stansfield “swigging beer in a pub downtown” when he lived in Dublin a few years back. If she keeps doing dull by-the-numbers tunes like this, well, I’ll ask my friend to buy her a beer on me the next time she frequents the pub and to ask her to keep up with time. Hopefully she’ll get some new producers too.