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Music Review: Belinda Carlisle – ‘Live from Metropolis Studios’ [DVD/CD]

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Nearly 30 years after her initial departure from the Go-Go’s, Belinda Carlisle remains a glowing presence on the touring circuit as both a part of that punk rock-rooted collective and a solo artist with an enviable catalog of contagious pop. While only a minor stylistic gap exists between signature Go-Go’s tunes like “Our Lips Are Sealed” and Carlisle’s first independent venture, “Mad About You,” over the decades she has explored an impressive diversity of repertoire. Bright, charging anthems (“Heaven Is a Place on Earth”), stripped-down rockers (“Big Scary Animal”), surf-inspired West Coast fare (“California”) and chanson (“Bonnie Et Clyde”) are all part of the 18-song set the distinctive vocalist traverses on Live from Metropolis Studios.

Belinda Carlisle performs 18 songs in concert on Edsel Records' new CD/DVD set, 'Live from Metropolis Studios.'

Belinda Carlisle performs on Edsel Records’ new CD/DVD set, ‘Live from Metropolis Studios’

Comprising a DVD of Carlisle’s 2012 concert filmed at the much-revered recording facility in London and a companion CD, Metropolis is a feel-good listening and viewing experience which includes nearly every hit from the singer’s seven studio albums. The performance opens with “Runaway Horses,” a rousing uptempo affair which sets a celebratory tone that’s maintained throughout. Aside from obvious selections such as “I Get Weak,” “Leave a Light On,” and “We Got the Beat,” standout moments lie in the less expected. “Bonnie Et Clyde,” from 2007’s French-language Voila, finds Carlisle adapting a subtly alluring stance which fits right in the pocket with the hypnotic groove. “Vision of You,” a moving ballad from Runaway Horses, resonates with emotive sincerity.

Live from Metropolis Studios provides longtime fans with an ideal means for reliving the positive memories associated with Carlisle’s unforgettable discography while giving newer listeners a chance to sample the uniqueness that has made her an enduring force, even in the absence of new albums. The DVD’s in-depth interview feature is icing on the cake.

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About Justin Kantor

Justin Kantor is a music journalist with a passion for in-depth artist interviews and reviews. Most of his interviews for Blogcritics can be heard on his Blog Talk Radio program, "Rhythmic Talk." Justin's work has been published in Wax Poetics, The All-Music Guide, and SoulMusic.com. A graduate of Berklee College of Music's Music Business and Management program, he honed his writing chops as a teenager—publishing "The Hip Key" magazine from 1992-1996. The publication, which was created out of his childhood home in Virginia Beach, reached a circulation of 10,000 by the time he was 16. At Berklee, Justin continued to perfect his craft with a series of 'Underrated Soul' features for The Groove from 1997-2003. This led to a companion TV show on Manhattan Neighborhood Network in 2002, as well as writing for the national Dance Music Authority (DMA). A self-described "obscure pop, dance, and R&B junkie," Justin also has penned liner notes for reissue labels such as Edsel Records and FunkyTownGrooves. He's excited to be a part of the BlogCritics team and indulge his musical fancies even further. Connect with him at his Facebook page, or via krystolfan@gmail.com.