The 80’s: Taylor Dane, by Taylor Dayne
Admittedly, when I think of the obscure and unjustly neglected acts of the 1980’s, I have not always been quick to give the proper credit to Taylor Dayne. Although the production of many of her songs has not dated well, there is still a solid core of songs that remain powerful, and the day that “Don’t Rush Me” and “Love Will Lead You Back” cease to have an emotional effect on me would be a disastrously unhappy day indeed. This album manages to collect most of the hits one would expect from the singer and that makes this collection a worthwhile one if you have nostalgia for powerful 80’s female vocalists, and I must admit I do have that sort of nostalgia from time to time. Here is a track by track review:
I’ll Always Love You (Extended Mix): Dayne’s powerful voice and a pleasant and spare instrumental track open this album with a thoughtful ode of devotion that demonstrated Taylor Dayne’s ability to sing powerfully in power ballads, this one with more than a bit of a hint of R&B backing vocals. Overall, this is a stellar track and an essential one of the singer’s.
Love Will Lead You Back: This song is my favorite Taylor Dayne track, bar none, and I think the track that has best survived since the late 1980’s when it was made. Soft verses of devotion and a powerful chorus demonstrate the singer’s faith that the one she loves will come back to her even though she has to let him go for the moment.
Tell It To My Heart: This upbeat dance song presents a common problem, the trouble in being able to trust the one that one loves. When one feels powerfully moved by love and affection, one wants to know that there is loyalty and good communication, and this song expresses that well even if the production is a bit dated.
I’ll Be Your Shelter: This is a peppy song of romantic devotion with some excellent instrumentation, and the song was even co-written by Dayne. Some of the words are a bit difficult to understand, but overall this song is an upbeat one and definitely a standout track for the singer, and a worthy hit.
With Every Beat Of My Heart (Extended Radio Remix): This song is upbeat and certainly was a popular dance single for Taylor Dayne, but the production of this song has not really aged at all that well at all. Even so, the song expresses the singer’s willingness to enjoy love with her partner.
Don’t Rush Me: Another one of my favorite songs from Taylor Dayne, this song shows her awareness of the fact that we are often our own worst enemies when it comes to love and intimacy, confusing an immediate response with the sort of knowledge of love that requires us to take our time and work our way through commitment. Love indeed is well worth waiting for.
Prove Your Love: A long instrumental intro clues the listener that this song is no ordinary 80’s single, especially since it goes on for over seven and a half minutes. The song at its core has a tension between the singer’s desire for her partner to prove his love with her impatience to enjoy that love tonight, a common frustration when intimacy is not attached to morality.
Send Me A Lover: This song is a ballad that expresses Taylor Dayne’s desire for love, a relatively consistent desire throughout her career, a desire to recover from loneliness and have a new beginning. The instrumental track is really the strength of this track, given that the lyrics are a bit basic. Overall, though, this is a surprisingly touching if obscure song in Dayne’s discography.
Heart Of Stone: A track that more or less splits the difference between Dayne’s ballads and her dance tracks, this song expresses Dayne’s devotion to her a lover and her refusal to believe that her partner has a heart of stone and is immune to her love and devotion despite the hurt she feels in their relationship. This is another surprisingly deep and moving and somewhat obscure song in her body of work with a lovely saxophone solo.
Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love: Many singers do cover versions of hit songs, and this song was a hit cover of Barry White’s excellent song. Dayne does justice to song with her sultry vocals and the instrumental track is solid as well. This is an enjoyable cover, and one imagines that White was pleased to hear her effort.
Say A Prayer (Boss Edit – Morales Mix): This song is definitely more of a pure techno song where the lyrics are not all that important and where the driving beat is the most important element of the song. It certainly is the sort of song that one would still expect to hear in a club to dance to, and would not be out of place even in contemporary club or radio play, which says something for Dayne’s skills.
I’ll Wait (E-Smoov Anthem Vocal Mix): This song is another classic dance track where Dayne’s lyrics are not the most essential aspect but where the dance beat is a good one. This is by no means the most essential of Dayne’s songs but it again demonstrates her skills as a dance diva with enough personality to sing powerful ballads. Contemporary dance pop vocalists are likely still jealous.
This album is definitely a satisfying one as far as Dayne’s hits are concerned. The title is a bit misleading because several of these songs do come from the 90’s. Dayne’s music can be put into several categories, all of which have their pleasure. We have songs where Dayne is a dance pop singer with upbeat and driving songs, many of which have classic late 80’s to mid 90’s production, songs where Dayne is singing powerful love ballads full of romantic devotion, and songs that seem to split the difference that are a bit more obscure but also surprisingly deep and poignant. This album does show that Taylor Dayne is an artist worth remembering, though.