In late 1987, American pop singer Taylor Dayne had burst into the charts with the massive hit Tell It to My Heart, where her same-titled debut album was also a massive success across the world, particularly in America. The album spawned four top 10 American hit singles alone and it wasn’t long before Dayne’s label Arista Records wanted a follow-up. With Dayne’s debut album, a strong dance-pop sound was set throughout. For the follow-up, Dayne’s musical direction slightly changed. Firstly, the album still maintained a full dance sound but with a slight rock influence on certain tracks. Secondly, a mix of strong production and popular outside songwriters meant that the album would be instantly commercial and hit worthy. Working with a whole range of songwriters and musicians, the production was handled by English record producer Ric Wake who had also produced Dayne’s debut Tell It to My Heart. Whilst Wake’s production on the debut was strong, the production on the second album was much stronger. In late 1989, Dayne released her second album titled Can’t Fight Fate.
The album’s opener is With Every Beat of My Heart, a very danceable disco track. The song was written by American musicians/producers Tommy Faragher and Lotti Golden as well as American producer Arthur Baker. Featuring some interesting percussion to open the track, the entire song is suitably based on some bouncy synthesizer and a brass section. Dayne’s unique vocal is perfectly fitting throughout the song, working nicely with the melodic backing. Although the verses are memorable enough, a greatly danceable chorus highlights the song’s main melody and the brass section, with Dayne giving a dominant and comfortable vocal. The chorus also has a somewhat anthemic nature, helped undoubtedly by the backing vocalists. Featured in the song is also an excellent saxophone solo. What is immediately noticeable in the song is the production. With Dayne’s debut the production was very 80s and one could easily tell this, however with this album, the song’s are very 80s but with stronger production, keeping the album less dated. Lyrically, the song is instantly accessible for the 80s dance floor, speaking of a love that grows more desirable every moment. Seemingly, Dayne has her heart set on a certain man and desperately wants his love, which over time has started to develop. The song’s optimistic instrumentation and sound fits nicely with the lyrical theme. The song’s overall use of a brass section really highlights this great infectious song on the album nicely. “You win and you lose some but if you stay in the game, before you know it, you'll feel the fire but don't get burned by the flame, you'll find the answer any day. With every beat of my heart, I keep getting closer to you…”
I’ll Be Your Shelter is a mid-tempo pop/rock track that moves away from the full dance sound without losing any commercial appeal. The song was written by American songwriter Diane Warren who has wrote an incredible amount of hit songs for many artists since the first hit in 1983. This track, one of the album’s greatest moments, was originally intended for American singer Tina Turner, but as Turner declined the song, it was offered to Dayne instead. The song’s mid-tempo sound is in full swing right from the start with some backing synthesizer drones, fluent bass guitar and melodic guitar licks. Dayne’s vocal is fantastic from start to finish, with this track being perfect for Dayne’s vocal. Highlighting a rock influence, chugging rhythm guitar is added to the pre-chorus and chorus. The chorus itself is incredibly memorable with some infectious vocal and an irresistible chant straight after. Included in the song is a perfectly fitting guitar solo. Coming to the end of the track, the use of an extra vocal layer over the chant really brings the song to a memorable close. A strong music video, directed by Dominic Sena, is certainly worth a watch too. Lyrically, the song’s theme is perfectly fitting, where Dayne speaks directly to a man, where she explains that she will always be there for him during hard times and will always care. This leads into the chorus where Dayne promises to make everything alright by being ‘shelter’ for him. Overall, Dayne’s fantastic vocal mixed with some fine songwriting from Warren allowed Dayne to continue gaining commercial success despite slightly moving into a pop-rock sound. "When there's clouds hanging in your sky now, and they're just not letting any light in, and you feel like you'd like to give in, don't you give up so soon. What you need is a friend to count on, what you got, baby you got someone who will stay when the rain is falling, won't let it fall on you…”
Love Will Lead You Back, again written by Diane Warren, is a slow and emotive ballad, again pushing Dayne from just a dance sound without losing any commercial appeal. In fact, the slight directional change must have been a good idea as the song became Dayne’s only chart topper in America. Originally, Warren stated that the song was intended for the American R&B singer Whitney Houston however Arista Records wished for Dayne to record the song. The song’s simple instrumentation throughout allows Dayne’s vocal to be the highlight which works very well. The melodic keyboard throughout is very glossy sounding whilst synthesizer drones are used throughout the song. Dayne’s vocal manages to capture the right amount of power and emotion throughout the entire song. The chorus is memorable as well as emotive, where the melodic keyboard and backing instrumentation works nicely under the lead and backing vocal. A solo section in the song highlights lead guitar as well as some harmonic vocal from the backing vocalists, creating a memorable sound. Bringing the song to a close is Dayne’s fantastically powerful vocal which still maintains the sensitivity the lyrics bring. The lyrics speak of the split of two lovers, where Dayne explains that she will set her lover free because she is certain that love will bring him back to her one day. The song’s sad message of goodbye is still hopeful which is what makes the track standout even further. Certainly a great song to showcase Dayne’s vocal whilst straying too far from a commercial sound. “But I know in time that we'll be together, oh, I won't try to stop you now from leaving cause in my heart I know love will lead you back. Someday I just know that love will lead you back to my arms, where you belong…”
Heart of Stone is a strong pop-rock track with a dance edge, nicely sitting between the two musical styles that Dayne had followed. The song was written by American songwriter/producer Elliot Wolff and songwriter Gregg Tripp. An infectious but also somewhat mature keyboard melody is used throughout as the leading hook whilst the use of other keyboard parts and synthesizer hooks allow Dayne’s vocal to shine, particularly during the verses. The chorus is undoubtedly catchy, where Dayne gives a strong vocal with the use of fitting backing vocalists and the keyboard melody. The song’s instrumental section highlights a grand saxophone solo, fitting nicely with the song’s sound. Whilst Dayne’s vocal works wonderfully throughout, the warm keyboards mix perfectly with the song’s lyrical message. This message sees Dayne speaking about a man who is hiding their love from her, despite the fact that she makes it clear that she is in love with him. As a result, Dayne admits she didn’t realise that he had a heart of stone, relating to someone who has a cold and unfeeling nature, perhaps not able to trust someone in regards to love. Although the song’s lyrics show a hint of distress based on the story, the overall message is hopeful and optimistic where she knows he has feelings but just won’t show them. A strong song overall, showcasing more great vocal and a strong commercial sound. “You try to make like I'm not there to show me how you feel, you don't have to hurt me with the hurt that you won't reveal. There'll never be another one who could get this close to you, I can give you everything that you've ever dreamed of…”
You Can’t Fight Fate is an up-tempo pop-rock track with a strong rock influence, again written by Diane Warren. The song’s energetic sound is charged by a dominant brass section and driving rhythm guitar. Dayne’s vocal fits nicely with the driving sound, showing that Dayne can easily perform more rock-like numbers. Guitar certainly places a large part in this track, remaining dominant throughout. For the chorus, Dayne gives an incredibly memorable vocal performance over driving guitar and synthesizer drone backing, a sure highlight that uses a harder sound without losing any commercial appeal. As expected, a guitar solo is used in the song - a strong solo that certainly makes a great sound with the flowing backing instrumentation. The final choruses demonstrate Dayne’s excellent vocal, nicely wrapping the song up. Lyrically, the song sees Dayne tell the man she’s after that he won’t ever escape her, even though he tries to hide his feelings, with the overall message stating that no one can fight fate and whatever will be, will be. Undoubtedly showcasing Dayne’s wonderful vocal on a more rock influenced number, this track’s energy and driving sound alone makes the song memorable. “You can drive your car, drive it night and day but you won't ever drive me away, I'll be in your heart, in your heart, baby, forever. I was meant to be with you, you were meant to be with me, wow what's it gonna take to make you see, we were meant to be, meant to be, be together…”
Up All Night is an up-tempo dance number which highlights plenty of energy, remaining very danceable throughout. The song was written by multi-platinum Grammy nominated songwriter Shelly Peiken, songwriter Steve Rimland and songwriter/producer Kennan Keating. Right from the start, the song’s rhythm section is highly danceable and memorable and soon added by some simple but effective keyboard/synthesizer hooks. Dayne’s vocal throughout the song is dominant and memorable, perfectly mixing with the instrumentation. What’s impressive about the song is the build-up theme that it has. The verses flow nicely with the energetic rhythm section, the pre-chorus is built up with some strong keyboard layers whilst the chorus uses a mix of electronic instrument layers, creating an anthemic and infectious dance sound. A solo section highlights some great piano which fits perfectly with the rhythm of the song. Lyrically, the song shows Dayne’s distress within a relationship where her love always lets her down, staying out all night and slowly drifting from her. Despite this message, Dayne doesn’t see the end as a bad thing, she is certain she can find someone much better and is determined to do so, giving the song plenty of hope and optimism. Dayne’s vocal throughout is powerful but still emotive, showing the strong feelings she has of wanting to break free. Certainly a strong dance number with plenty of energy and Dayne’s great vocal although in my opinion, the song isn’t the strongest on the album, perhaps as it doesn’t have quite the melodic hook that many other tracks on the album do. “Somewhere there's a man who needs me, not someone who runs and leaves me up all night. Well all those nasty games you're playing make me sick and tired of staying up all night…”
I Know the Feeling is a slow pop-ballad, in the same feel as Love Will Lead You Back, written by American composer Marvin Hamlisch, American songwriter Alan Bergman and his wife, the American songwriter Marilyn Bergman. The song highlights some glossy and gentle keyboard throughout, both melodic and friendly, as well as some emotive vocal from Dayne. Whilst Dayne’s vocal is nicely fitting through the verses, her vocal on the chorus creates a nice atmosphere with the backing vocalists. The chorus itself relies on this vocal performance and it works in doing so. A strong solo section highlights a saxophone solo over the glossy keyboard backing. Lyrically, the song is effective with the passionate vocal and gentle sound, where Dayne admits she has forgotten the true feeling of love until she met a certain person, who allows her to recall that love feeling. Whilst the song is perfectly listenable, showcasing some great vocal over some nice instrumentation, the fact that the song has similar atmosphere to Love Will Lead You Back means that the song’s are instantly comparable, with this song failing to match the more memorable Love Will Lead You Back which features a stronger effect over the listener. Still, the song is certainly strong enough to feature on the album at all and the gentle sound showcasing Dayne’s voice does work nicely with the lyrical message. “Thought I was happy, thought that my life was made, guess I believed the colours of love just fade. But now that you're here, I can see what I thought was all over is still here inside of me, and I know the feeling, and I love the feeling…”
Wait for Me is an uplifting and infectious dance-pop track, one of the album’s strongest tracks, written by American songwriter/producer Antonina Armato and American songwriter/producer/musician Rick Neigher. The song’s main keyboard melody is extremely memorable, commercial and friendly, giving the album a mix of rock-influenced tracks as well as the dance-pop sound that Dayne became successful with. Throughout the song, Dayne’s vocal is strong but not too dominant, mixing nicely with the backing instrumentation. The song’s gentle but commercial sound really benefits from Dayne’s vocal. A hint of backing vocal is used throughout, again working well, just like in previous tracks. The song’s chorus uses the main melody, with Dayne giving a memorable vocal, creating one infectious and danceable section. For the song’s instrumental section, a soaring synthesizer solo is added, mixing with some added lead vocal wonderfully. Ending with the final choruses, the song remains completely infectious from start to finish. Lyrically, the song sees Dayne telling her love interest to take it slow, allowing their love to become something special. She reassures him that she won’t mess him around but quick love isn’t what she wants. A definite highlight of the album, showing Dayne’s fitting vocal over the most melodic backing, making the song very much ear candy. “But for now, take a little time to know me, I swear I'm not stringing you along. I might be driving you crazy but I wouldn't steer you wrong, no, I wouldn't steer you wrong. Wait for me boy, if we take it slow we'll discover something greater…”
You Meant the World to Me is a straight-forward and pleasant pop track with a slight dance hint, written by Dayne and the album’s producer Ric Wake. The song’s melodic theme revolves around some strong keyboard hooks, piano and a backing brass section. Dayne’s vocal throughout is again not too dominant, but still strong and perfectly fitting, whilst backing vocalists make a small appearance every so often. The song’s chorus mixes Dayne’s vocal in full force with the main melody, creating an infectious section, boosted by the use of backing vocalists in places too. A strong solo section highlights some fitting saxophone whilst the brass section has a small solo moment at the end of the song. Lyrically, the song speaks about the aftermath of a split, from Dayne’s point of view. Dayne explains how she and her love lost their eye to eye, with his love causing her to feel trapped, and so as a result, she had to say goodbye. The song’s message combined with the uplifting sound of the song again shows hope and optimism. A strong track that not only shows more great vocal over infectious instrumentation, but also Dayne’s songwriting which at the time was pushed aside by outside songwriters. After this album, her following releases saw Dayne having a few more co-writing credits on various songs whereas her debut didn’t have any at all. “Cause you meant the world to me but I had other needs, to be the girl of someone's eye and not a type that you could love and hide. You had to take control so I just had to go, and now I'm sorry how it had to be but you meant the world to me…”
The album’s closing track is titled Ain’t No Good, a hard-hitting pop track with a rock edge, and like the previous track, written by Dayne and producer Ric Wake. The song’s mix of flowing rhythm guitar, piano and melodic keyboard works nicely under some strong and emotive vocal from Dayne. The entire song sees Dayne giving a vocal that reflects the lyrical message nicely and this is helped by the song building up to the chorus. Harmonic backing vocals are used to build the song up fully whilst the chorus uses some strong backing instrumentation under Dayne’s excellent vocal and the backing vocalists. A strong guitar solo is featured in the song, perfectly fitting with the backing instrumentation. The lyrics echo a bad love that Dayne has been through, where she can no longer take another moment of the pain. The chorus sees Dayne directly tell her lover that his lies are doing no good for her, leaving the fact that a split is inevitable. Although the instrumentation is somewhat less melodic than other tracks, the song’s rock edge works tremendously well with Dayne’s incredible vocal performance. Whilst the piano keeps the song flowing nicely, the backing keyboard melody adds a commercial sound to the song, making the track another strong moment on the album. “Well it's just not fair, don't want to believe but that's just the way it all seems to be. So now you're playing out of sight, out of mind, you're gonna fall this time, ain't no good for me baby, the way you treat me with your lies…”
Upon release, Can’t Fight Fate was rightfully a big success, both commercially and critically, particularly in America where Dayne was based. The album managed to peak at #25 there, soon being certified 2x Platinum by the RIAA. The album also peaked at #7 in Australia, #24 in New Zealand, #24 in Switzerland and #30 in Sweden. Lastly, the album peaked at #23 in Canada, where the album had originally spent many weeks down at the far end of the top 100 chart until sales finally began to pick up. Although Dayne’s debut Tell It to My Heart had peaked at #24 in the UK, this album failed to make an entry into the top 100, undoubtedly due to lack of promotion in the European region. Interestingly, the 1993 follow-up album Soul Dancing would make a little more impact within Europe, proving this lack of promotion for Can’t Fight Fate.
The first single was With Every Beat of My Heart which was a big success, peaking at #5 in both America and Canada, #6 in Japan, #18 in Switzerland, #53 in the UK and #54 in Australia. The next single was Love Will Lead You Back which became Dayne’s only number one hit in America, as well as peaking at #2 in Canada, #3 in Japan, #9 in France, #11 in Australia, #28 in New Zealand, #41 in Poland and #69 in the UK. The third single was I’ll Be Your Shelter which was again a big success, peaking at #1 in Canada, #4 in both Australia and America, #5 in Japan, #33 in New Zealand and #43 in the UK. The final single was Heart of Stone, Dayne’s first single not to enter the top 10 in America, was not quite as successful as the previous singles, peaking at #6 in France, #12 in America, #42 in Australia and #86 in Japan. Despite the singles failing to make huge impression in the UK, the following 1993 album Soul Dancing would spawn two big hits which proves that promotion lacked internationally.
I highly recommend this album for any fan of 80s pop, dance-pop, pop-rock or adult contemporary. The album on the whole covers a range of strong tracks from the dance numbers, mature ballads and those tracks with a slight rock edge to them. Each track has a unique quality, making the album strong from start to finish. Wake’s production, as previously mentioned, is much stronger here than on Dayne’s debut, although the debut had good production too. Although the artwork is rather simple, it clearly worked very well on release - perhaps a simple but effective approach was thought to be the best idea, similar to Dayne's debut album which had two different simple covers. Allmusic.com gave the album four and a half stars out of five and summed the album up, “Years after its release, this album stands the test of time, and can safely be classified as one of the more diverse and exciting dance/pop/rock albums of the late '80s/early '90s.” With Dayne’s uniquely strong vocal, the song’s standout even further over the infectious melodies and the overall memorable sound. Today, the album is easily available for download or on CD for a cheap price. Oddly, despite the success of the albums, both this album and Dayne’s debut are no longer in print and therefore can only be obtained second hand, although some copies still remain sealed from the original release but not a huge amount at all. Whilst this album continued Dayne’s commercial success though, a decline in popularity would occur with the next album Soul Dancing in 1993, although it was still rather successful. On the whole, Can’t Fight Fate is a fully recommend album, offering plenty of infectious hooks and melodies, wrapped around Dayne’s fantastic vocal.
I have made a preview of each track available via Youtube which gives a good feel for each song on the album: www.youtube.com/watch?v=sq-SZnX22TY
1. With Every Beat of My Heart - 4:22
2. I'll Be Your Shelter - 4:44
3. Love Will Lead You Back - 4:38
4. Heart of Stone - 4:18
5. You Can't Fight Fate - 4:41
6. Up All Night - 4:06
7. I Know the Feeling - 4:47
8. Wait for Me - 3:42
9. You Meant the World to Me - 4:08
10. Ain’t No Good - 4:04