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Title: Dreams That Money Can’t Buy
Author: Lloyd Bradley

HOLLY JOHNSON

Dreams That Money Can’t Buy

MCA LP MCA 10278

Given the current dance music dominated pop climate, now ought to be on ideal time for Holly Johnson’s second solo release and the continuation of his obsession with himself as a disco diva. He might hove pulled it off had it involved a substantial reinvention of himself and his style, courtesy of a currently hot producer. But, in opting for his trademark nasally vocals over the frantic beat that used to be called HiNRG, he seems to hove lost the plot - it’s dance music’s insatiable appetite for change that keeps it going, hence the unnaturally high casualty rate. Add to that the rather thin production values applied to Johnson’s music and it becomes obvious how much he needs the protection of a big surrounding sound. Here, what was previously suspect is strained, breathless and so badly controlled it’s cruelly exposed as weak. Consequently, the only track that holds the attention is the ballad I Need Your Love - a clever combination of crisp beats and smooth strings. Maybe he’s simply a couple of years past his sell-by date. **

Lloyd Bradley