Canadian pop singer Corey Hart's first album from 1983 includes the hit "Sunglasses at Night" and "At the Dance."
Corey Hart's debut album encompasses much of the '80s pop sound, namely with "Sunglasses at Night," an instant classic with its distinctive melody and catchy chorus. Often considered a one-hit wonder, Hart was a staple act in regular rotation on radio and MTV throughout the '80s with nine Top 40 Billboard hits and over ten million records sold. Many say 1984 was the pinnacle for '80s music, and for Hart this release came to define his sound. With a distinctive Canadian accent he stood out even with what was sometimes indistinguishable music. All the cliched '80s sounds are here in full force, from the brooding saxophone, the bratty guitar solo, the snotty background vocalists, and the catchy keyboard riffs. Hart, though, is obviously impassioned about the part that he plays. Constantly striving to raise many of his lyrics above the meter, he can come across as clumsy when he tries too hard. Where Hart succeeds is when he allows the hooks to catch. The tragic lovelorn stadium ballad appears with "It Ain't Enough," another early Hart hit that easily served its use for long distance dedication on soft rock radio during the '80s, an avenue he again repeats on "Jenny Fey" but falls flat. Time and time again Hart's voice is what saves him from mediocrity as in the cool way he says "no, no, no, no, no, no" on "Does She Love You." The dated "She Got the Radio" still retains its charm and humor and wouldn't be out of place on some quirky mixtape. The rest of the songs may fit into the typecast Corey Hart sound, but this release serves as a classic reminder of the fresh-faced voice from Canada that dominated the airwaves. For you '80s aficionados, this is one to own. Weird fact: Eric Clapton plays Dobro on the album. ~ Simon Cantlon