When most people in America think of Tiffany, they think of her hits from the late 1980s, such as “I Think We’re Alone Now,” “Could’ve Been,” and “I Saw Him Standing There.” In fact, those who didn’t follow pop music closely enough probably don’t remember that between 1987 and 1990, she had released three albums: Tiffany, Hold an Old Friend’s Hand, and New Inside. In the 1990s, Tiffany had seemed to disappear from the music industry completely. In 2001, Tiffany returned with The Color of Silence, which was an album that sounded nothing like her pop material from the late 1980s and early 1990s. This album was more driving than anything she had released previously. I own the Australian import version of the album, so that is what I’ll be reviewing.
The Color of Silence opens with the song, “Open My Eyes.” In the lyrics to this song, she’s asking for someone to help her open her eyes and understand what is going on with a situation she’s in. “I’m Not Sleeping” is a song that features a rap by Krayzie Bone from Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. While this is a rock song in nature, Krayzie Bone’s rap doesn’t feel forced at all. It’s a song about no longer being fooled by another person, and exerting independence from that person.
Next is “Piss U Off,” which is a more “fun” sounding song than the previous two songs on the album. It’s a song where the speaker is refusing to leave the place where they are, even though the person they’re with wants them gone. “I Will Not Breakdown” returns to the sound of “Open My Eyes” and “I’m Not Sleeping,” with a theme where the speaker declares that even though they may be disillusioned, they will remain strong and not break down or fall apart.
While the previous songs on the album were rather guitar-heavy, “Keep Walking” is a slower song that focuses more on the piano than on the guitars. It’s a song about letting go of someone in a relationship. This is followed by “If Only,” which is essentially just a piano-based ballad. It’s a song that Tiffany co-wrote after the death of someone close to her, and it’s a song that expresses a sense of loss.
“Silence” returns the album into uptempo territory, and sonically, it has a sound that reminds me of the sound associated with the female singer-songwriters of the mid-to-late 1990s; in some respects, the music in this song reminds me of Meredith Brooks’ “Bitch.” From looking at the lyrics, I think this song was inspired by events that happened to Tiffany during her teen idol pop years. Next is “All the Talking,” a song about not truly understanding someone else, even though you may talk to them a lot.
“Good Enough for Me” is a more “fun” sounding song, and the speaker is telling another person that they are good enough for the speaker. This is followed by “Christening,” which is probably one of the “hardest” sounding songs on the album. In the song, the speaker is telling another person that they are perfect for each other, and the speaker wants the other person to not fight it and let them into “something new.” Some of this song utilizes vocal distortion, which adds to the sound of the song.
“Betty” is a ballad, and from the lyrics, it appears to be about a girl who committed suicide. This is followed by “Cinnamon,” which is a song about a person who seems to wield a lot of power over people, through manipulation and lies. “Butterfly” is a song where the speaker has found their wings and is ready to fly away from a relationship that they’re in.
The last three songs on this pressing, “As I Am,” “Falling,” and “Flown,” are bonus tracks on the Australian pressing. All three of these songs are slow in nature. While these songs aren’t necessarily bad, having all of these slower songs tacked on to the end does drag down the overall album. When I listen to this album, I tend to listen to “Open My Eyes,” “I’m Not Sleeping,” “Piss U Off,” “I Will Not Breakdown,” “If Only,” “All The Talking,” and “Christening.”
As of this writing, The Color of Silence is the only “rock” album that Tiffany has released. Since then, all of Tiffany’s albums and singles have been dance-oriented. The Color of Silence is a pretty decent album, but I think Tiffany seems much more comfortable and “at home” with her dance-oriented recordings.
I wrote this review after listening to a copy of The Color of Silence that I was given as a gift.