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38
4.8 out of 5 stars
Real Love
Format: Audio CDChange
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
While "Affection" made her a star, "Real Love" makes you truly appreciate her unique artistry. Released in late 1991, Lisa Stansfield's wondrous sophomore LP is everything a follow-up is supposed to be. While her debut is, in my mind, still a dance/pop classic, "Real Love" changes gears and opts for a richer, creamy smooth, urbane sound. Perfectly balancing dance textures with a plethora of live instrumentation and beautifully organic shadings, this is an album any music lover can truly enjoy. As enjoyable as the musical textures on this album are, the real star of the show once again is Lisa's stunning voice. Her growth as a singer is apparent from the opening notes of the first track, "Change". For the most part, Ms. Stansfield's delivery is unhurried and assured on all of these buttery confections, the best of them being: "Time To Make You Mine", the jaunty, horn accented "Symptoms of Lonliness and Heartache"(check out the great flute solo!), "All Woman", which is the best ballad ever recorded about being appreciative of your mate. The lyrics brilliantly balance feminine vulnerability and dignity and her singing makes an indelible impression. "Just A Little More Love" rides a mellow, understated bass groove and places Lisa's singing right at the fore of the simple arrangement (the way she sings the word 'anything' before the second chorus will make you MELT), the majestic title track with it's insistent backbeat and immediatley catchy refrain will stay in your head for days. She closes out the LP with a trio of ballads, each complementing the other with a surging momentum building from the almost acapella "Tenderly", followed by the piano and handclaps intro to "It's Got To Be Real" which crashes into a fantastic driving horn arrangement and gospel-tinged chorus. The closer, "I Will Be Waiting" is the album's crowning moment. Over a Barry White inspired groove(all the trademarks of his sound are present; muted trumpets on the chorus, funky, mellow bass playing, crisp drums and cascading strings in the background all complement one of Lisa's most heartfelt vocal performances. This song makes you cry, and when it's over you play it again, just so you can cry some more. Perfect. Modern romanticism set to gorgeous music, enjoy "Real Love" alone or with a special someone, either way it's a very rewarding listen.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on May 23, 2001
When I first heard Lisa Stansfield in 1990 (All Around the World), I was intrigued by that voice and fell in love. When "Real Love" was released in late '91, I rushed out and bought it and was not disappointed. I was hooked. Ten years later I still listen to this CD and have not tired of it in the least. I'd pay to hear this lady sing "Happy Birthday". From the singles "Change" and "All Woman" to the pumping tracks "Symptoms of Loneliness and Heartache" and "Make Love to Ya" and the smoldering "Tenderly" - a gem, each and every one of them. Stansfield doesn't just sing a song - she makes love to it! There is no one in the industry like her today. With all those screeching, so-called "divas" singing R&B and Pop today, it's so refreshing to hear someone like Stansfield - a woman who can truly sing. Too bad her albums come so few and far between. One of the most underrated artists today.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
I became a fan of Lisa Stansfield's when I heard Coldcut's (I think that's the artist) "People Hold On" on the dance floor. Being a fan of blue-eyed soul I made sure I bought her first album "Affection" and was not disappointed and that album became a favorite. Then I heard "Real Love". This album is smooth and wicked! Highlights are "All Woman, Soul Deep, Set Your Loving Free, I Will Be Waiting, It's Got To Be Real, Little More Love, and the title track. Basically the whole album is hot. I can honestly say that this album has everything - great ballads and smooth jazzy dance tunes. Ms. Stansfield sings with confidence and emotion, not forcing her voice on the listener, unlike today's artists with their voice aerobics and hand flapping. This album proves that she is truly an underrated artist.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on September 17, 2001
Here is another example of an artist with a lot of talent but not enough exposure (at least in the USA). I have been a fan of Lisa's ever since "All Around the World" and have never looked back. This cd is by far the best of her stuff--even though it is not a greatest hits cd, it is still great. She takes us on a journey of being a woman with heart, soul and plenty of emotion.
She tells us that if she could do it over again she would not CHANGE a thing. Then she explains that she shares a REAL LOVE with her man; a love that lasts forever. As she continues, she tells her lover that when you are with me you must learn to SET YOUR LOVING FREE. Lisa understands that her man has been hurt before and is very patient for his "wounds" to heal; so makes a proclamation to him I WILL BE WAITING for you. But you must remember, no matter how long we stay together I am ALL WOMAN; and will always be the one to MAKE LOVE TO YA. Lisa tells us that she has always had great love for herself because it is SOUL DEEP. But her one wish, towards her man, is that it is TIME YO MAKE YOU MINE. Now that he is in her life, she no longer wants to feel any more SYMPTOMS OF LONELINESS AND HEARTACHE. This is not her FIRST JOY but she knows that if she is treated TENDERLY & given A LITTLE MORE LOVE; she knows that this time IT'S GOT TO BE REAL. This is one helluva cd. A combo of pop, jazz, r&b and a lot of soul. She also combines Motown and the Philly sound. She is one of the best.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 11, 2000
My God this CD is almost 10 years old and I'm still playing it. The arrangements are great, especially tracks 7 to 13. Set Your Loving Free is a real showcase for Lisa's voice. Track 1, Change, is timeless. If you like lush disco stuff, this is it.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on December 12, 2000
okay, let me say that this is my personal favorite album of all time. i am only 14 now, but when i started listening to my dads album collection, when i was around 8 in 1993, i put on "affection" and i loved it. i asked my dad if she had any more albums, and one day he came home with this one. i went crazy over it. i listened to the whole thing every day for at least 2 years. it still remains my personal pick of all time. this is classic soul, with her smooth voice, and so much variety! she is one truly amazing vocalist. if only she would be more popular in the united states...she's the equivilant to Sheryl Crow in the UK, and thats pretty good. her soul is classic, and this album will stand the test of time for years to come if you are looking for great soul and r and b music. from her great upbeat songs to her lovely ballads, this has it all.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Lisa Stansfield's second release is more a continuation of the first, filled with the same driving beats, sultry vocals, and songwriting/production team.

However, the singer explores a "torchier" side with the inclusion of one of the best songs of the 90's: the passionate "All Woman." The song tells of a marriage going south, with the husband unfairly criticizing his wife for her change in behavior, as well as appearance. However, the wife gets the last word, proclaiming her contributions and faithfulness to the union; thus, the couple reconciles. Stansfield sings as though she herself has experienced the ups and downs of a failing relationship.

Why the singer didn't receive a Grammy for this song is a mystery!

The rest of the album is equally impressive from one of the most underrated singers in the world.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 31, 2009
Another classic by Lisa. The thing I love about her music is that she stays consistant and never misses a vibe or a beat. She leaves no stone unturned and keeps the vibe alive with that unmistakable deep soulful groove voice that fills the airwaves with love. My fave tracks are "Time 2 make U mine", "real Luv", "It's got 2 b real" (that breakdown beat), and of course "Change" that has good memories attached to every1 that has heard it. Lisa Stansfield is one of the best singers around the world.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Lisa Standsfield emerged in 1989 on her debut solo album Affection with all the ingredients to become a major force in the British soul/funk and R&B community with her lush and cinematic sound. The only crucial ingredient missing was the instrumental quality and vitality to bring such a sound to life. One of the most important factors contributing to that was the fact that the rhythmic tracks for all the songs were based in programming. And this didn't quite give Lisa's powerful and rangy voice, or or songwriting much of a chance to stand out. On this album, released two years after she recorded her debut she augmented her sound with a large live band featuring an active horn section,bass/guitar and percussion and drums from Snowboy and Andy Gangerdeen. With this extra ingredient, it's surprising even to me how much of a change is made to her overall musicality.

Songs such as the album opener "Change","Symptoms Of Loneliness & Heartache" as well as well "A Little More Love" all have a very clean,contemporary production elements and there share of programming. But these are much more elaborately chorded and lyrically dense songs that showcase a Sade like, silky jazzy soul/funk quality. "Time To Make You Mine" is a beautifully deep, bassy number in a similar vein but instrumentally and lyrically showcasing seduction to an even greater degree. "Make Love To Ya" and "Set Your Loving Free" bring into play a mixture of percussive disco/funk percussion and house/dance grooves that were absolutely ideal for blending the new and older generation of funky dance music."Soul Deep",with it's clavinet effects and "First Joy" are among my own favorites here as they showcase the heavy grooving,percussive gospel/soul element in Stansfield's singing and her songwriting.

"Set Your Loving Free","It's Got To Be Love" and "I Will Be Waiting" all fall into place with the heavily funky "acid jazz" sound than pioneered by a wealth of famous UK musicians; namely Brand New Heavies and Incognito. The title song has that same international jazz/funk vibe to it with it's percussion and pianos while the ballads "Tenderly" and "All Woman" are an instrumentally spare showcase for her vocal abilities. And that is the defining feature of this album. We find Lisa Stansfield is very much a vocalist rather than a mere singer of her music. And with the augmentation of a live band and a more funky soul oriented sound, that quality comes out all the more. It was no accident that around this time she made a memorable appearance on Red Hot & Blue: Cole Porter Tribute singing Cole Porter's "Down In The Depths". The classiness strongly indicated on her debut blooms into full flower with this album. And I highly recommend it over that debut actually for those curious about the looking to explore Stansfield from a more musical rather than popular perspective.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 29, 2008
The problem with having a fantastic debut album is that one is expected to deliver an even better follow-up. That was definitely a tall order for Brit soul diva Lisa Stansfield, but did she deliver! Real Love is an album that drips with soul from the first track to the last, no matter what the order (the US and UK versions have differing track orders, one being no better or worse than the other).

Don't expect to hear any songs like "This Is The Right Time" on this album, though; Lisa keeps is strictly midtempo this time around. In fact, the fastest song on this album is the barely triple-digit BPM "Make Love To Ya," one of the highlights on the album, by the way. Other standout tracks include "All Woman," "Set Your Loving Free," "First Joy," "A Little More Love," and the Barry White-influenced title track.

No Lisa collection is complete without this gem!
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