In these days of hip-hop-heavy radio, it is nice to see that there are still some artists around who remember the fine craft of cutting perfect pop records. The latest effort by Belinda Carlisle, “Live Your Life Be Free” showcases her knack for melodies, harmonies, and hooks. She has not strayed from the gold and platinum sound of her earlier “Belinda,” “Heaven On Earth,” and “Runaway Horses” albums, and this successful formula need not be tampered with.
As usual, hits abound. The first single, “Do You Feel Like I Feel?,” percolates to a dark dance groove while exploring the insecurities of love. The anthemic “Live Your Life Be Free” title track rallies listeners to take control of unrequited romantic relationships. On the pretty “Half The World,” Carlisle’s soft side emerges, as she yearns for her heart’s desire many miles away.
What’s most noticeable on “Live Your Life Be Free” is the rebellious, fun, power pop reminiscent of Carlisle’s earlier work as leader of the early-eighties girl group, the Go-Go’s.
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“You’re Nothing Without Me,” “Little Black Book,” and “Love Revolution” all devilishly praise women’s power to make men go crazy, while “I Plead Insanity” admits that women can lose their heads just as easily. Like the Go-Go’s, Carlisle is a mix of attitude and vulnerability, and the result is an album full of songs which celebrates the pleasant intricacies of love.
Belinda Carlisle has consistently turned out excellent pop albums and this 11-song collection is no different; every cut is a melodic treasure. Good pop music is certainly hard to come by nowadays. A gem like this, though, more than compensates for any lack of radio exposure. “Live Your Life Be Free” , and buy this album, be satisfied. n