Duck: With a song called ”All Around the World” from Affection already a big dance-floor hit, Lisa Stansfield might be hurtling right to the top of the charts. Can we listen to her soberly? ”We drive each other crazy,” she sings, in a voice like a suffocated flame. ”No two people ever felt this way,” she wants her lucky lover to know.
And of course — speaking soberly — we can’t believe that. But then Affection, like almost all good dance albums, isn’t about thinking. The wisdom it offers is the wisdom of the body.
There maybe Stansfield can be trusted. She sounds both sultry and sincere: Sincerity, in fact, is the subject (and title) of her most striking song, which she delivers with quiet but smoldering innocence. This is her first album, but she already sounds as if she knows who she is.
She’s much helped by her producers and co-songwriters, Ian Devaney and Andy Morris. As producers they lay down a lush cushion for her voice, just as dance producers might for any singer. But at the same time they’ve developed something much more enticing: They’ve invented rhythms so specific that each song seems to be shaped by its own genetic code. Some songs are chunky, some are silken; one underscores its title, ”Poison,” with what almost could be the sound of mammoth dark velvet bells.
And that makes Affection stand out from other dance albums. The onrushing beat is varied and subtle enough to sweep you away not just once or twice, but in song after song. A-