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Branigan 2


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Performer Notes
  • Personnel: Laura Branigan (vocals); Marty Walsh, Michael Landau (guitar); Robbie Buchanan (keyboards, synthesizer); Michael Boddicker (synthesizer); Dennis Belfield (bass); Carlos Vega, Doane Perry (drums); Lenny Castro (percussion); Jon Joyce, Jim Haas, Joe Pizzulo, Eddie Hawkins, Joe Esposito, Gene Morford (background vocals).
  • Recorded at Rusk Sound Studio and Allen Zentz Recording Studios, Hollywood, California.
  • Personnel: Laura Branigan (vocals); Marty Walsh, Michael Landau (guitar); Robbie Buchanan (keyboards, synthesizer); Michael Boddicker (synthesizer); Doane Perry, Carlos Vega (drums); Lenny Castro (percussion); Jon Joyce , Jim Haas, Eddie Hawkins, Joe Esposito , Joe Pizzulo (background vocals).
  • Recording information: Allen Zentz Recording Studios, Hollywood, CA; Rusk Sound Studios, Hollywood, CA.
  • Laura Branigan's full, expressive voice shows serious growth on this, her second album. A much more cohesive collection than her first disc, the material on Branigan 2 utilizes her vocals to their fullest extent; and while there were many filler songs on her debut, this album doesn't waste a single track. That is not to say Branigan 2 is perfect, but simply that there is something worthwhile in each cut. "Solitaire," with its quiet beginnings and pull-out-all-the-stops finale, shows off just what chops this singer has. "Deep in the Dark" is sexy and, despite coming hot on the heels of a German version ("Der Komissar" by After the Fire), is different and sexy enough to be welcome as opposed to unnecessary. She does a far superior version of Michael Bolton's "How Am I Supposed to Live Without You," though his version was a much bigger hit years later; while Bolton went over the top with his vocals and production, Branigan's take is simpler, prettier, and shows shades of emotion at which Bolton could only hint. While covering a Who song might be considered foolish (or brave) for so new a singer, it pays off as "Squeeze Box" is playful and sexy without being disrespectful to the original. "Mama," a whispered penance for having given in to a bad boy, shows that Branigan knows when to cut the dramatics. And "Lucky," a pretty, guitar-driven ballad, is bittersweet without being cloying. As always for Branigan, the struggle is simply to find material and production to match her vocals. And, though this album isn't the most mature album of its time, it shows she's more comfortable with herself and her voice and shows enormous promise of what she's really capable. ~ Bryan Buss
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