Melissa Manchester's recording career has very distinct phases (with some overlap between them). Her output from 1973 to 1978 was very much in the singer/songwriter field, and brilliant it was too. Then she became Clive Davis's "Diva of the Moment" for 1979's "Melissa Manchester" and its follow-up "For The Working Girl", affecting a melodramatic vocal approach. Those two albums, however, still featured somewhere between 20 and 40% of her original material, along with a pile of rather over-baked songs by writers for hire.
And then came the phase of which "Mathematics" is the final part. Of the three Melissa Manchester albums that flirt with synthesised, dance-able 80s pop, вЂњMathematicsвЂ� is the most consistent. It may not have the high points of вЂњHey RickyвЂ�, but neither does it have anything as tasteless as that albumвЂ™s Race to the End track. And, despite using an array of different producers, it doesnвЂ™t suffer from the uneven tone and quality of the 1983 вЂњEmergencyвЂ� album.
вЂњMathematicsвЂ� was a one-off album for MCA, and following its appearance, Melissa ManchesterвЂ™s album releases became much less frequent. Victims of the Modern Heart, Mathematics, Shocked, Energy, and All Tied Up are undeniably engaging. Things slow down on Side 2, culminating in the ballad Just One Lifetime, which was revived and altered many years later for a Barbra Streisand album.
An album like вЂњMathematicsвЂ� will never capture my imagination the way that the earlier albums like вЂњBright EyesвЂ�, the amazing вЂњDonвЂ™t Cry Out LoudвЂ� LP produced with Leon Ware, or 2004вЂ™s вЂњWhen I Look Down That RoadвЂ� did. However, I come back to it from time to time, since itвЂ™s still MelissaвЂ™s voice, and itвЂ™s generally entertaining. Here it is at 320 kbps.
Also included is the вЂњMathematicsвЂ� 12-inch release, featuring two alternative Mathematics mixes, and the non-album track So Full of Yourself.