It’s been 10 years since Taylor Dayne’s last album and 15 since her last pop hit, but that voice remains unmistakable, and it’s possibly never been in finer form. Despite that and the top-notch production values of Dayne’s independently-released new album, however, Satisfied relies too heavily on middle-of-the-road mid-tempo numbers, eschewing the shrewd combo of dance tracks and big ballads that comprised her successes in the late 1980s and early ‘90s and, along with fellow Clive Davis-creation Whitney Houston, essentially defined the diva template. The dance-rock “I’m Over My Head” and the reggae-infused “She Don’t Love You” make fine filler, but lead single, “Beautiful,” is a bit underwhelming and the harpsichord-filled title track is bizarre and awkward. Though Barry White’s “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love” was an unexpectedly inspired match for Dayne back in ‘93, a trio of new cover songs fails to recapture that success: Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Under the Bridge,” about heroin addiction in L.A.‘s seedy underbelly, is morphed into a blues song (vamping “Drew some blood!” just doesn’t work for Dayne), and while Des’ree’s “Kissing You,” which is poised to become a standard, is a better fit for the singer, this version ranks behind both the original and Beyoncé‘s copyright-challenged rendition from last year. Dayne does deliver on the standout “Crash,” the kind of bombastic Celine Dion-style power ballad rock critics have been trained to shame publicly, but those looking for something hi-energy like her debut single, “Tell It to My Heart,” or even “Say a Prayer,” likely won’t be satisfied until they get their hands on some club mixes.
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