Editor’s Note: The Albumism staff has selected what we believe to be the 100 Most Dynamic Debut Albums Ever Made, representing a varied cross-section of genres, styles and time periods. Click “Next Album” below to explore each album or view the full album index here.
If there’s one musical era of my lifetime that I’m most romantically nostalgic about, it is unequivocally the four-year span that commenced in 1989 and concluded in 1992. Not coincidentally, these were my socially formative junior high and early high school years. And as I survived puberty (including the rayon-mandated threads of those awkward junior high dance days) and embarked upon teenagehood, I was a veritable sponge for good music. Thankfully, my ears were never lacking for fun, vibrant records across so many genres during that time—from New Jack Swing to R&B to hip-hop to house to the birth of so-called grunge rock.
One of the records that wielded its seductive power over me then was Affection, an intoxicating hybrid of the first four of the aforementioned musical styles. A sophisticated, yet euphoric album expertly crafted to send butts onto the dance floor, Affection introduced the masses (and me) to the impressive vocal chops of the Manchester, England-born Lisa Stansfield. Upon hearing her sultry voice riding effortlessly atop the thumping, propulsive rhythms provided by producers/co-writers Ian Devaney and Andy Morris on refreshingly inspired cuts like “All Around the World,” “Mighty Love,” “You Can’t Deny It,”(and Coldcut on “This is the Right Time”), it was hard not to be hooked and swear lifetime devotion to Affection’s creator.
A vibrant, soul-affirming record from beginning to end, it’s still as thrilling to behold today as it was way back when.