Not only has this group succeeded musically with their first album, but they’ve also set a record on the road to stardom. Wilson Phillips, consisting of sisters Carnie and Wendy Wilson, and their good friend Chynna Phillips, became the first female pop group to have two Number One singles off a debut LP. Those singles, “Hold On” and “Release Me,” (along with the rest of the material on this enjoyable album), have an alluring three-part harmony that accentuates the otherwise mediocre quality of the girls’ voices. Their vocals, incidentally, have been strategically re-mixed, which gives them a huge wall of sound and alleviates some breathiness. But despite that, the girls do harmonize beautifully, and their style sets them apart from most of the current Top 40 acts.
That style, which the band confesses is a musical blend of the rock bands Heart and Fleetwood Mac (in particular Ann Wilson and Stevie Nicks), is working magic for them, and their popular strength is escalating.
However, the album isn’t without a few minor flaws.
Though modern technology has retouched their sound to near perfection, the lyrics unfortunately lack depth and insight. That doesn’t mean, however, that they aren’t effective, especially since almost all the songs deal with love and romance – a concept easily identified with, and always viable. Fortunately, even with transparent lyrics, Wilson Phillips succeeds in getting the message across not only with these singles, but also with the songs “You’re in Love,” “Over and Over,” and “The Dream is Still Alive.” Each of these songs is of singular beauty, and represents the best this album has to offer.
No doubt, Wilson Phillips will be around for awhile, and hopefully, with a little more creativity, a long while. n