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Articles Home » 1990 Articles » Black, Paris - 1990 Paris Black
Black, Paris - 1990 Paris Black

ARTIST: Black, Paris
ALBUM: Paris Black
YEAR: 1990


LINEUP: Paris Black - lead vocals

Guests: Richard Buck, Guido Diodati, Mark Berry - keyboards, bass, drums, percussion * Larry Mancini - guitars * John Bianchini - guitars, mandolin * George Orphanos - guitars, slide guitar * Martin Davio - saxophone * Valerie Hallman - co lead vocal 'My Heart Is Still Young' * Lorraine Scott, Marcia English, Kenny MacLean, Dean McTaggart, Keith Powers, Paris Black - backing vocals * Karen Burke Singers - choir

TRACK LISTING: 01 Conspiracy * 02 Heaven Sent * 03 My Heart Is Still Young * 04 Letting Go * 05 Barely In Love * 06 Danced In My Direction * 07 I Don't Wanna Be Your Friend * 08 Bang Bang * 09 Don't Say Goodnight * 10 If I Could Dance With You * 11 Every Emotion

WEBLINKS: www.parisblack.com

Contrary to popular belief, Paris Black is not a band, nor is it a band name. From 1990, this is a hi-tech/AOR outing from an individual by said name, who is Danish in origin, though UK and Canadian bred. Black has come to attention two years earlier with his debut album 'Secret Seduction' released on the Trend Records label. Judging by what I have seen on Ebay, that album goes for big bucks, and is pretty hard to get a hold of. His self titled follow up is just as hard to obtain, though fortunately I found a reasonably priced CD on the Net which I procured. The album has a typical Canadian hi-tech style, and if you're into outfits such as Glass Tiger, Garnett Ford, Diamond In The Rough, World On Edge etc, then Paris Black slots in nicely, though the overall quality is dubious. A couple of special guests appear, namely: Platinum Blonde's Kenny MacLean and The Arrows Dean McTaggart.

The Songs
Interestingly, the opener 'Conspiracy' is a Michael Bolton and Bob Halligan Jnr co-write, though it sounds like nothing any of those two would release. It's full of high-stepping hi-tech pop rock, with keyboards and drum machines everywhere. 'Heaven Sent', written by Dean McTaggart and the late Brian MacLeod is more pop pap, light and breezy, Mr Black doing his best to keep things pink and fluffy. A lady by the name of Valerie Hallman joins in on the excellent 'My Heart Is Still Young', a dramatic ballad which builds up to a booming crescendo. Fans of the recent Kristina Nichols and The Storm 'Sweet Surrender' CD may appreciate this song. 'Letting Go' is a very good track too, remarkably similar to Glass Tiger, Black sounding scarily like Alan Frew, perhaps also Tony Hadley from Spandau Ballet. This one is a ballad but is given a lot of space with a nice guitar solo to spice things up. I didn't care too much for the dance based pop rock of 'Barely In Love' and the cringe-worthy 'Danced In My Direction', the latter, with its drum machine patterns, synth loops and parps was enough for me to hit the fast-forward button. Diane Warren provides the next track 'I Don't Wanna Be Your Friend', and I wasn't overly thrilled with this one either. The remainder of the songs are only marginally better. 'Don't Say Goodnight' co-written by everybody's favourite West Coast artist David Roberts is a reasonable attempt at mid-paced AOR. 'Every Emotion' though hi-tech and melodic is lacking something.

In Summary
Albums like these were dime a dozen back in that timeframe, and I guess listening to this twenty years later one can see why they weren't successful in the first place. There's no real hint of originality here, ideas and concepts copied from other albums years before this one came out, and it gives the appearance of 'paint by numbers' or going through the motions, though I'm sure Mr Black would possibly disagree - but unfortunately the tale is in the tape, the evidence all too clear. Despite there being a couple of good songs (as indicated above), I'm afraid this CD will collect dust in my CD collection for a good while to come. Where is he now? Well, Paris Black does have a website, and it seems a new CD in 2010 called 'I'm Not Jesus'. Over the past few years, Black has been an international model and Billy Idol lookalike, you can see his latest pix from his website.

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This article has been tagged
Tags: Paris Black 
#1 | swazi on September 29 2011 23:12:06
Yeah, I tend to agree with this review. Fortunately I didn't pay too much for my original copy either. Quite pleasant, but nothing you have to kill for to own.
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