Album Review: Debbie Gibson – “Think With Your Heart”

Think With Your Heart is Deborah Gibson’s fifth studio album, and it was released on July 4, 1995. At the time, Deborah herself described it as an “adult contemporary” album; personally, I think the more apt description for Think With Your Heart is “easy listening.” This album, which was the only one that Deborah ever recorded for SBK Records, is filled with a lot of ballads that feature a 44-piece orchestra. Think With Your Heart is also the last album that Deborah recorded under the name Debbie Gibson.

To me, the biggest surprise on the album is the song “Too Fancy.” It sounds as if it came straight out of a musical, and has a different sound compared to anything Deborah had recorded at that time in her career. Another big surprise is “Dontcha Want Me Now?,” because it’s such a driving, uptempo number compared to the rest of the album.

The biggest disappointment of the album for me is the song “Dancin’ in My Mind.” The disappointment comes more from the musical arrangement of the song than from the lyrics; to me, the arrangement is flat, which makes it sound like the most boring song on the album. While I like what the song is trying to say, I wish it had a stronger arrangement to accompany its lyrics. Unfortunately, the flat arrangement makes “Dancin’ in My Mind” my least favorite song on Think With Your Heart.

My favorite lyrics on the album come from “Let’s Run Away,” because of Deborah’s use of imagery. It’s the most imagery she had used at that point in her writing, and it works beautifully. My favorite part of the lyrics: “Imagine a place/Where pride could cease to exist/And we cannot speak of pain/And angels carry us on their wings/We are kissed/As we bathe in the pouring rain.”

The weakest lyrics are on “Dontcha Want Me Now?” While I love the fact it’s more a uptempo song in comparison to the rest of the album, the lyrics come across as a bit on the “juvenile” side. The lyrics don’t truly fit with an album that Deborah herself described as being “adult contemporary.”

My favorite musical arrangement appears in the song “Didn’t Have the Heart.” With the combination of Deborah’s voice singing the lyrics, the piano, and the orchestra, the song captures a definite mood. This song moves me whenever I hear it.

I feel Deborah’s best vocal performance on this album appears on the song “Let’s Run Away.” Not only is this the best vocal performance on one of her albums at that point in her career, it’s also the most “mature” vocals Deborah had used in a song at that point.

To me, the weakest vocal performance appears on the title song, “Think With Your Heart”… but only because of one line. The line “[i]t can be glorious heaven on earth” seems too long for the musical line, but Deborah tries to force it to fit, anyway. It’s a distraction, and is almost jarring to listen to.

The album features a cover of Carole King’s “Will You Love Me Tomorrow.” While Deborah doesn’t try to copy Carole’s performance, which I applaud, she doesn’t seem to try to claim the song for her own and bring herself into it. It’s not a bad performance, but it’s not exciting, either. I feel that Carole King had a more impassioned version of the song.

My favorite song on the album is “Let’s Run Away.” Deborah’s strong vocal performance, the musical arrangement, and the imagery in the lyrics combine to make an incredible song. I love how the musical arrangement gives the song a kind of “ethereal” sound.

While Think With Your Heart isn’t my most favorite album by Deborah, it would rank pretty high if I were to make a list of my favorite Deborah Gibson albums.

I wrote this review after listening to a copy of Think With Your Heart that I purchased.


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