Monday, August 22, 2022

"What You Don't Know" by Exposé

Top 10 Alert!
Gold Record Alert!
Song#:  3908
Date:  05/20/1989
Debut:  59
Peak:  8
Weeks:  15
Genre:  Freestyle

Pop Bits:  This trio's first album, 1987's Exposure, would top out at #16, but its run of four Pop Top 10 singles kept it selling and it would eventually go triple platinum. The final single from the LP, "Season's Change," would be the trio's biggest hitting #1. That set them up well for their second album What You Don't Know. The title track would be issued out as the first single and it would continue their streak of Pop Top 10s getting to #8. The tune would also get to #2 at Dance. It would sell well enough to go gold; their first single to do so. The album would then peak at #33 in August and quickly go gold.

ReduxReview:  After the success of their first album, the trio continued to leave everything in the hands of songwriter/producer Lewis A. Martineé. They probably didn't have a choice as he was the one who assembled Exposé, so essentially they were the voices for his creations. Martineé would write or co-write all songs for the album save for two and would produce them all. The results were not all that different from the debut album except he obviously had more money to play with as the productions sounded more layered and, well, expensive. However, no matter how much money you toss at tracks, you still gotta have good songs to begin with and I think Martineé was starting to run out of gas. While the trio would still score three lower Top 10 entries from the album, none of them were as good or as memorable as the quartet of hits from the first album. This urgent first single certainly had its hooks, but it just tried too hard. It was overproduced and that led to the ladies practically screaming over it all to try and be heard. Although it did go gold, it wasn't a smash hit on the Pop chart. I'm sure the #8 peak was a bit of a disappointment to Martineé and the label who were probably expecting a #1.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  With the exception of some popularity in Japan, Exposé's main success was mostly relegated to the US market. While they would end up with eight Pop Top 10 hits in the States (seven of them consecutive), their tunes fell flat elsewhere. In Canada, they were unable to crack the Top 10. Their best effort there was "Season's Change," which got to #11. In the UK, they didn't make much of an impression. Six of their singles would reach the lower rungs of the UK chart with 1993's "I'll Never Get Over You Getting Over Me" doing the best at #75. It seems that the freestyle sounds of the late 80s/early 90s didn't really catch on as well in other countries as it did in its home base of the US. While a few artists from the UK and elsewhere dabbled in freestyle for some of their tracks, US-based acts, specifically the female vocal groups of the era, didn't have much luck in other territories.


No comments:

Post a Comment