Three decades on from her first release, 1989’s Affection, Lisa Stansfield is back with another album co-written and co-produced by her long-term partner Ian Devaney, and she still has the vocal chops and the songwriting nous that has brought her this far.
From the gorgeously slinky opener Everything to the very effective rework of Common & D’Angelo’s Geto Heaven that finishes the album, Deeper is full of great moments that show off Stansfield’s sultry tones.
The album also has variety: tracks like Desire and Never Ever showcase the house-influenced style that kickstarted her career, while Love Of My Life and the title track work on slower funk grooves. The theatrical Twisted has hints of Motown and latin rock in its production, and lead single Billionaire has a witty lyrical conceit to compliment its anthemic production (“If I had a dollar for every time you said you love me I’d be a billionaire / If I walked a mile for every time you meant the words I’d still be right here”).
The slower ‘ballad’ section, a source of dread in most pop albums, is a relatively painfree experience consisting of just two consecutive tracks, the latter of which is livened up by the pitter-patter of tasteful breakbeats, but the rather pedestrian Coming Up For Air sports production that sounds more dated than retro and forgettable lyrics. However, this is easily outweighed by superior songs, and Deeper remains a very worthwhile addition to Stansfield’s lengthy career.