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All That Jazz
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  • The U.K. quartet Breathe was the most popular of several late-'80s British acts like Waterfront and Johnny Hates Jazz, which combined lush easy listening pop with a light George Michael-style touch of R&B. Breathe was just as derivative as its counterparts, but vocalist David Glasper was gifted with a warm, pitch-perfect voice, tailor-made for adult contemporary radio. The misleadingly titled All That Jazz spawned two Top Five ballads, and both "Hands to Heaven" and "How Can I Fall" are aural equivalents of a Harlequin romance novel. Breathe is quite adept with a ballad; predictably, the remainder of All That Jazz rarely strays from the lushly produced elevator music of the two hits. Although far from perfect, All That Jazz is a pleasant enough listen for fans of harmless, romantic pop. Despite the slickness, both "Hands to Heaven" and "How Can I Fall" are very affecting, melodic ballads, and slow numbers like "All This I Should Have Known" and "Liberties of Love are perfect for candlelight dinners and slow dances. Breathe falters considerably with the more up-tempo material. Glasper is an engaging frontman, but he's no soul singer, and tracks like "Jonah" and "All That Jazz" drag because the band fails to conjure up enough energy to inject any life into the performances. Only the catchy "Don't Tell Me Lies" (also a Top Ten hit) makes any kind of impression. All That Jazz is only sporadically entertaining, but the album was wildly popular when it was released. Breathe failed to sustain the success of All That Jazz with the follow-up, 1990's Peace of Mind. With the lack of a major hit single, the album tanked, and the band broke up shortly thereafter. ~ William Cooper
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