Debbie Does Dance…and does it amazingly well. It’s been eleven years since Debbie Gibson released a cover album of male Japanese artists, Ms. Vocalist, for the Japanese market. Before that, in 2003 she released an album of her favorite showtunes called Colored Lights: The Broadway Album. So saying I’ve been thirsty for a Debbie Gibson album of all new music after two decades is an understatement. The Body Remembers, is a thirst-quenching oasis reminding my feet what it was like to dance around my bedroom to “Shake Your Love” back in the ’80’s.
My ears have memories of being covered by Discman headphones filled with Debbie’s eternally youthful voice, which is just as strong on The Body Remembers. Debbie might have stepped away from the recording studio for more than a minute, but at least when she returned, she did it in full blown diva fashion. She’s serving solid-fifteen-track-dance-party realness that her fans have been craving for years.
Debbie’s return, in my gay opinion, is reminiscent of Cher’s “Believe” comeback in 1998 but Debbie takes it up a notch by writing and producing her own music. She’s bringing Disco back on “Love Don’t Care” and giving JLo a run for her money on “Freedom” with a Latin finger-snapping house beat. She revisits her classic slow-jam “Lost In Your Eyes” with New Kids On The Block’s Joey McIntyre but adds a few new ballads (“Red Carper Ready” and “Me Not Loving You”) to her romantic repertoire. “Strings” gives me life with old-school, spoken-story breakdowns but I am in Diva Heaven when Debbie vocally flips the bird to haters on “Runway” with her unexpected tongue-in-cheek rap.
Debbie continues to use her theatrically-dramatic and fun-loving lyrics to spread her pop-positivity through song. The Body Remembers makes my heart remember why I became a Debhead in the first place and why I’m not going anywhere anytime soon.