Anastasia – Freak Of Nature (2001)

FrontCover1Anastacia’s sophomore outing, Freak of Nature, continues with the late-’80s bombastic funk/soul/pop revival ushered in by her debut, Not That Kind, but this time there’s a few more ballads in the mix. Anastacia also leans more toward straightforward rock on this outing, while still maintaining the irresistible dance grooves that made her debut an international success. The album kicks off to a rocking start with the title track, which boasts a sinuous guitar solo reminiscent of “American Woman” and then leads into the soulful, bombastic rocker “Paid My Dues,” a massive European hit. Other shining moments include the dramatic “One Day in Your Life,” which follows the same formula as her previous hit, “I’m Outta Love,” but better, with more soaring, epic vocals, and sounds like a rock version of a forgotten disco classic. The feel-good soul-funk vibe of “Don’t Stop (Doin’ It)” is a massive hit waiting to happen, and perfect for a breezy summer afternoon. When Anastacia slows down the tempo for the ballads (some organic and acoustic, some bordering on power ballads), she succeeds by utilizing her strong vocal chops without venturing into vocal histrionics. Reminiscent of Taylor Dayne at times, Anastacia successfully avoids the sophomore slump by delivering an album full of raw emotion, power, and musicality which manages to improve upon its predecessor. As a final note, the Destiny’s Child-sounding “Why’d You Lie to Me” and the sassy “Don’tcha Wanna” both appear on the American version of Not That Kind. (by Jose F. Promis)

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Personnel:
Anastacia (vocals)
Dameon Aranda (guitar)
Thomassina Atkins (background vocals)
Rob Bailey (guitar)
Louis Biancaniello (keyboards)
Sharon Bryant  (background vocals)
Denyse Buffum (viola)
Becky Bunnell (violin)
Eve Butler (violin)
Chris Camozzi (guitar)
Patrick Carroll (drum + percussion programming, bass)
Susan Chatman (violin)
Larry Corbett (cello)
Jason Crosby (fiddle)
Joel Derouin (violin)
Russ Desalvo (guitar, keyboards)
Charles Everett (violin)
Kirstin Fife (violin)
Angela Fisher (background vocals)
Kemba Francis (background vocals)
Matthew Funes (viola)
Norm Hughes (violin)
Ruth Johnson (violin)
Richie Jones (drums, percussion)
Lamenga Kafi (background vocals)
Roland Kata (viola)
Suzie Katayama (cello)
Roland Kato (viola)
Shane Keister (keyboards)
Peter Kent (violin)
Curtis King (background vocals)
Eric Kupper (bass, guitar, keyboards, talking drum)
Mario de León (violin)
Danny Madden (background vocals)
Billy Mann (guitar, (background vocals)
Paulette McWilliams (background vocals)
Chieli Minucci (guitar)
Maria Newman (violin)
Bob Peterson (violin)
Nicki Richards (background vocals)
Mark Russell (bass)
Dan Tobin Smith (cello)
Daniel Smith (cello)
Carol Steele (percussion)
Edmund Stein (violin)
Jeanie Tracy (background vocals)
Sam Watters (background vocals)
Audrey Wheeler (background vocals)
John Wittenberg (violin)

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Tracklist:
01. Freak Of Nature (Anastacia/Mann) 3.39
02. Paid My Dues (Anastacia/Kafi/Lawson/Sharpe) 3.21
03. Overdue Goodbye (Anastacia/Mann) 4.34
04. You’ll Never Be Alone (Anastacia/Biancaniello/Watters) 4.21
05. One Day in Your Life (Anastacia/Biancaniello/Watters) 3.28
06. How Come the World Won’t Stop (Anastacia/Mann) 4.03
07. Why’d You Lie to Me (Anastacia/Butler/Cox/Lawson/Parker/Sharpe) 3.43
08. Don’t Cha Wanna (Anastacia/Biancaniello/Watters/Wonder) 3.43
09. Secrets (Anastacia/James) 5.22
10. Don’t Stop (Doin’ It) (Anastacia/Biancaniello/Watters)
11. I Dreamed of You (Anastacia/Bramble/Robbins) 5.04
12. Overdue Goodbye (Reprise) (Anastacia/Mann) 1.35

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