Monday, February 25, 2008

Paula Then and Now

The first time I saw Paula Abdul was in 1988, through the video, (It's Just) The Way That You Love Me. Tapdancing and Top40 weren't exactly a prizewinning combo in the late-80s, but she definitely stood out. Though that single didn't even break into the Top 40, it would be re-released the following year after the mega-success of the singles Straight Up, Forever Your Girl and Cold-Hearted. I bought all her studio albums (on cassettes) except the remix compilation.

As she continued to bag one hit after another, my friend and I would joke about her voice. ("Kung mananalo siya ng award, magpapasalamat siya sa Macintosh computers for her voice.") Note that when her hit Rush, Rush came out, Mariah Carey had just hit the scene, Madonna was vogueing as Breathless Mahoney, Janet Jackson was ruling Rhythm Nation, and Whitney Houston was raking in the moolah with I'm Your Baby Tonight. Paula seemed to be the odd-girl out among the powerhouse divas, the light-footed cheerleader who wanted to be one of the prom queens.

Fast forward to the present, and about the only queen who's generating a major buzz is Madonna, who's slated to release her next studio album in April. (As well as a strong rumor that she's visiting Manila later this year.) Paula, on the other hand, has just released her newest single off Randy Jackson's album. While Dance Like There's No Tomorrow reminds me of her earlier work, it doesn't have the same zing. Catchy, yes, but it doesn't have the riff that sticks. Hopefully, she'll get a new album out with all-new exciting material, if only to erase from memory that clunker of an album Head Over Heels.

Here's her newest video.

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