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Performer Notes
  • Audio Remasterer: Vic Anesini.
  • Liner Note Author: Mike Ragogna.
  • Relocating to England after a successful stint on Broadway in the early '80s (he had the title role in Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat), David Cassidy joined forces with Alan Tarney, a producer who'd had several soft rock hits with Cliff Richard and Leo Sayer at the dawn of the '80s but who had recently turned into a hot property thanks to his work on a-ha's "Take on Me." Cassidy's resulting 1985 album Romance naturally leans closer to Richard than a-ha's new wave synth pop, yet the LP is slathered in synths, from its shimmering surfaces right down to its rhythms. It is, without question, a quintessentially '80s record, and it's also a quintessentially European record, relying on sprightly, tacky dance cuts, percolating midtempo pop, and an over-abundance of ballads designed for televised pageant, all crossed with a heavy George Michael influence (the man himself sang on the song "The Last Kiss," a single that went to number six in the U.K.). It's a sound that's oddly suited for this very American pop star, possibly because he's comfortable in any manner of prefabrication, so he never seems out of place within the crystalline synthetic surfaces here. There aren't a lot of knock-out songs here, but there aren't many bad ones, and the entirety plays like what it is: a solid, forgotten, mainstream pop album from the height of the MTV era. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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