First Impressions: Anastacia's Back On 'Rotation'

Monday, October 27, 2008's been about five years since the last time we've heard from the bombastic vocals of Anastasia. After suffering a bout with breast cancer (and recovering), Anastacia is back and ready to grace us with her powerhouse chops on her fourth installment, Heavy Rotation. With the lead off single, the jubilant party romp "I Can Feel You", Anastacia gives us that growling soul n' pop hybrid that gained her much attention in the early 2000's. Heavy Rotation, feels like Anastacia's 2000 debut album, Not That Kind, but upgraded for a 2008 state-of-mind. Anastacia's voice sounds stronger than ever whether she takes on sweet hand-clapping soul ("Absolutely Positively") or throbbing dance exercises (like the sparkling title track). The collaborations with producers/songwriters Rodney Jerkins, Ne-Yo, JR Rotem and Guy Chambers give Anastacia an edgier sound and give her some radio ready singles. What is quite surprising is that some cuts sound almost Amy Winehouse-lite. The ironically titled "Same Song" and the perky, "The Way I See It" feel like they would fit right into Winehouse's stained ballet flats...but it's only a minor comparison. Still the familiar Anastacia shines through on the ballads such as the tugging heart strings of "You'll Be Fine" and the inspiring "Defeated". Heavy Rotation showcases Anastacia back in the swing of things with empowering music to boot. Plus it's grand to have a real vocalist back doing feel-good and infectious music. While there are a few fillers here and there, Anastacia's vocal power and energy make this a frequent spin.

Rating: 8.5/10
Release Date: October 28, 2008

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