It would be true to say, you know what you’re getting with Bonnie Tyler. The Welsh chanteuse from Neath, south Wales made her name with whimsical hit Lost In France in 1976, followed by her debut album The World Starts Tonight in 1977. Since then she’s scored hits with Jim Steinman’s Total Eclipse Of The Heart (1983) and Holding Out For A Hero (1985).

Now comes a kind of comeback, this album, followed by single Louise on June 12. Off the critical radar for some time, it’ll be a test of her hardcore fanbase’s fidelity, then the casual listener for it to become a huge success. As with previous efforts, the ‘big sound’ or ‘Steinman /
Springsteen’ effect is never far away, from the off, on Driving Me Crazy.

The voice, as unique as you’ll find by a female singer, is as coarse as ever. Her band is as hot as anything on the scene (the lead guitarist is
outstanding), with superb production at every level. The songs are a blend of solid ballads – Run Run Run, Celebrate, Wings, Crying In Berlin,
soft-rockers All I Need Is Love, Stand Up, and power-ballads I Won’t Look Back, all of which are as accessible as previous offerings.

Her new found strengths lay in the co-writing department, where she throws her weight behind 10 of the 12 songs: all are perfectly tailored for her rasping larynx. Her choice of sampler-single (Louise) is not the best: Run Run Run Run is a typical chart friendly affair, full of wailing guitar solos, and a catchy chorus that would grace any party dancefloor, possibly becoming her next anthem. Best song, and another single contender, is a stirring Americana influenced I’ll Stand By You.

At 54, Gaynor Hopkins hasn’t forgotten how to rock, and roll.

Released: Tue 23rd May 2006