Little Lives

Adele Bertei

1988: Chrysalis VK 41634

  1. Little Lives, Big Love
  2. The Green Suit
  3. Truth and Lies
  4. Babes in Moneyland
  5. The Loneliest Girl (Pentimento)
  6. Can’t Stop the Dance
  7. Golden Square
  8. Fool for Love
  9. Hollywood
  10. Love This Way

When I tracked down a copy of this, something like 20 years after it came out, I was looking for more of that electrifying clarity of voice and energy that Bertei provided as the female voice on Thomas Dolby’s 1984 single “Hyperactive.” Alas, that’s really not to be found here. Most of the album is lamentably predictable and interchangeable mid-1980s synthesizer instrumentation and dull songwriting. Things only pick up at the end, for me anyway, with the intriguing “Hollywood” (intriguing not so much for its who-is-she-referring-to storyline but for its slippery chord changes) and the closing track “Love This Way.” None of it is conclusive in any way, except insofar as it’s a damned shame Bertei didn’t strut her vocal abilities in any better material than this.