Japanese version featuring a bonus track
A rare Canadian among the R&B elite, Deborah Cox is also notable as one of the few certified divas to write or cowrite her own songs. With her reputation thus established, Cox boldly pushes into a new direction on The Morning After, offering comparatively few ballads as well as two songs aimed straight at the dance floor: the percussive rump-shaker "Up & Down (In & Out)" and the wildly caffeinated "Mr. Lonely." That both appear in myriad remixed versions on an accompanying CD makes Cox's intent clear. Still, fans of the singer's earlier, softer sounds aren't completely shut out. "Hurt So Much" is anguish as a state of mind, while the lush, octave-defying "Play Your Part" puts the passive-aggressive relationship into focus. Sisters get an anthem in "Starting with You," which best captures Cox's overriding messages of affirmation and individuality. Of course, with a voice this boundless and beautiful, Cox could make the white pages sound tingly. That she strives for something more makes The Morning After worth hearing. --Kim Hughes --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.