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Heaven Is A Place On Earth? With Belinda, definitely!
on December 1, 2001
Behold: a second solo album and one that's even better than her debut, Belinda. Where Belinda was a toe-dip in the ocean of pop, Heaven On Earth has Belinda Carlisle splashing and swimming happily with the best of them. And the title track was asking to shoot to #1 on the Billboard charts, which it did.
"Circle In The Sand" is a perfect beach song, not in the vein of the boppity "Bikini Beach" but light-paced, ideal for walking along the beach, watching the waves.
Her cover of Cream's "I Feel Free" is the first time I heard this song and as such, is better than the original or the David Bowie rendition of it. This is the same song that seems to be played in the book American Psycho, not the movie.
"World Without You" is a nice ballad whose styling reminds me a bit of John Waite's "Missing You". The same rhythm guitar and synthesizer styling permeates throughout the next song, "I Get Weak", which is not a weak song by any means; she makes it credible, thanks to lyrics by ace songwriter Diane Warren.
The fun-tastic fast-paced "Fool For Love" has a simple and sweet chorus: "If I'm a fool for love (3x), I don't care (2x)"
"Nobody Owns Me" has a strong pounding rock guitar dominant. It also makes Belinda one of the few singers who has the license for singing "oooh" to finish a line AND make it sexy. Susanna Hoffs is the only other one I can think of who also qualifies.
The sad and wistful "Love Never Dies" closes the album.
Rick Nowels produced this album, as well as Runaway Horses and Live Your Life Be Free, and no doubt his masterful skill contributed Belinda's well-deserved stardom. Add to this are some talented guest singers and artists, including Charlotte Caffey, and two-thirds of what would later become Wilson Phillips, as well as Mellencamp drummer Kenny Aronoff.
Heaven On Earth lives up to its title and for me, this was one of the best reasons to be alive in 1987. Every song here is singleworthy, and there are very very few albums to which I can say that to.