10 Great Songs series, but she also had a more comprehensive collection in 1997. Greatest Hits: Straight Up! provides more music from the '80s-'90s singer -- and shows that her musical style didn't change at all from start to finish.
Unlike 10 Great Songs: Paula Abdul, Straight Up! covers all three of Abdul's albums (Forever Your Girl, Spellbound, and Head Over Heels), plus a song from the Beverly Hills 90210 soundtrack. Like the other collection, though, Straight Up! doesn't offer anything beyond the original songs. There are no rarities, live versions, or other material not on the original albums
Paula Abdul's success was as much based on her dancing/choreography and sex appeal as on singing and music, and Straight Up! reinforces that. (It's a shame there's no music video collection of hers instead of a music album.) Her songs covered the standard radio-friendly range of perky romance ("Forever Your Girl," Opposites Attract"), slow ballads ("Rush, Rush," "Will You Marry Me"), dance tunes ("Straight Up," "Vibeology"), bad guys ("Cold Hearted," "One or the Other") and general optimistic perkiness ("The Promise of a New Day," "It's All About Feelin' Good"). The songs sometimes manage the "fun fluff" type of music, but even the best can't escape the weak lyrics and unexceptional voice of the singer.
Overall grade: C-
Reviewed by James Lynch