By DONNA BALANCIA
Debbie Gibson, the squeaky-clean pop star of the 1980s, has released her first studio album in 20 years with The Body Remembers. It’s a gorgeous collection of tracks that presents the former teen cutie in a sophisticated and sleek new style.
Anyone who lived through the 1980s remembers Gibson as the “goody-two shoes” with the big voice and positive message, come heck or high water. Gibson’s happy outlook on life certainly hasn’t been dampened. But with The Body Remembers, she proves she has weathered the storms of the fickle nature of fame, and delivers in a big way. She’s even going to play … heaven forbid … Las Vegas.
As they say, people love a good comeback story. And Gibson taps into that theme with The Body Remembers. It’s an inspiring record that reinforces the belief that talent can overcome the test of time.
“These songs reflect a lot of life lived over the past two decades and my intense energy that got me through the pandemic,” Gibson said. “I absolutely cannot wait for my die-hard audience as well as new fans to hear this body of work that I’ve poured my heart into.”
The tracks on The Body Remembers range from dance to theatrical drama. Last July, Gibson released a video to accompany the first release off the record, “One Step Closer.” It’s an inspiring piece intended to help enable people to overcome difficulties and move ahead boldly. It’s remarkable how Gibson has taken her own life adventures and made them relatable to “regular people,” who today are forced to endure more changes in their own lives than ever before.
Gibson takes her musical prowess one step further with the new album. Gibson released her 10th studio album, The Body Remembers, on her own label, Stargirl Records.
Gibson tapped into a range of relationships as the record includes an A-list of music industry names. Her collaborators include DJ-producer Tracy Young, multi-platinum recording artist DJ Ashba, 20-year old musical prodigy Sean Thomas, Emmy winner, composer-arranger, metal band Cinderella drummer Fred Coury, Broadway power couple Orfeh and Andy Karl, and a mix team of Brian Malouf (Michael Jackson, Madonna, Queen), Luca Pretolesi (Diplo, JBalvin) and Josh Gudwin (Dua Lipa, Justin Bieber).
The songs on the album each represent a chapter in Gibson’s life and as represented in her legacy songwriting, she says. Gibson tackles themes ranging from a “perfect relationship” which is the basis for “Red Carpet Ready” to being locked into the prison of one’s own mind, as in “Freedom” and “Girls Night Out.” She offers thoughts of past loves with “Strings” and motivation and aspirational life with “Runway.”
Her summer disco bop “One Step Closer” imagines forging ahead to better times and certainly helps anyone dispel her old image of the little girl in the black hat with brown hair and striped shirt and suspenders. But there is nothing to disown about the success she racked up in the late 1980s, including multi-platinum albums Out of the Blue (1987) and Electric Youth (1989). She was named Songwriter of the Year by ASCAP in 1989.
Gibson says the new album is her most authentic as she takes an innovative approach to lyrics, including spoken word as she does on the track “Strings.” The track “Legendary” takes on a musical theater sound, perhaps influenced by the success Gibson has enjoyed from starring roles in stage productions of “Les Miserables” and “Grease.”
Gibson said the album The Body Remembers represents empowerment, living your best life, and staying eternally electric. And apparently she practices what she preaches.
Check out the ‘One Step Closer’ video here: