The Drive

by: Haddaway

Haddaway's second album, The Drive (never released in the U.S.), continues with more of the same big, glossy dance numbers that made his first album so appealing, but ranks slightly lower than its predecessor because the territory covered is a little too similar. Virtually all the songs are high energy Euro-disco propelled by strong, sincere vocals and immaculate production. Standouts include the pretty ballad "Lover Be Thy Name," the moody, atmospheric dance epic "Desert Prayer" (both co-written by Haddaway and the prolific Desmond Child), and the fantastic, urgent, anthemic "Catch a Fire," which definitely deserved some form of exposure in the U.S. Another highlight is his lovely remake of the Cat Stevens classic "The First Cut Is the Deepest." The rest of the tracks, however, including the album's opener and first single "Fly Away," tend to blend together into one big glittering mass of Euro-dance, but, if that's one's forte, then this album is perfect. It does tend to lean a little too much on the Euro-disco formula, even more so than his previous album, which probably explains why The Drive was never released in the U.S., a country which has never been overly receptive to dance music artists. Therefore, and sadly, a talented, multifaceted artist like Haddaway, with a quality sophomore album under his belt, winds up in the American record books as a one-hit wonder. ~ Jose F. Promis

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