Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Debbie Gibson

  • Out of the Blue [Atlantic, 1987] C+
  • Electric Youth [Atlantic, 1989] C+

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Out of the Blue [Atlantic, 1987]
People think there's something cute about this schemer, but I ask you--is it really possible to be a self-made millionaire and the girl next door simultaneously? I'll take a Harvard M.B.A. any day. Paul Anka wrote his own songs too, and he had more of a flair for language. As for beats, well, I'm not going to argue with "Only in My Dreams" or "Shake Your Love." But the one she produced by herself is a flat-out dog. C+

Electric Youth [Atlantic, 1989]
Casting about for a clue to this cipher, I found a gem in the bio: "My mom and dad took me to literally thousands of auditions, lessons, and performances." Making her a showbiz kid manque who immersed her perfect pitch and competitive Chopin in disco and Billy Joel, with every pop dream supported by doting parents who didn't want to raise a rebel and got their wish--so far. Unable to fall back on even an alienated childhood for inspiration, her music is synthesis without thesis or antithesis. A mimic and nothing more, she emits banalities about relationships and life choices that are no doubt deeper than anything she's actually experienced--so far. C+