When Belinda Carlisle
pursued a solo career, she took more than her share of criticism from rock critics -- who complained that slick pop/rock collections like Belinda
and Heaven on Earth
lacked the bite of her work with the Go-Go's
. But while nothing here packs quite the punch that "How Much More," "We Got the Beat," and "Turn to You" did, such memorable songs as "Heaven Is a Place on Earth," "Should I Let You In?," and "I Get Weak" show that the Angelino still had plenty of spirit. "Circle in the Sand" is in fact a gem -- a haunting Shangri-Las
-like song with an early-to-mid-'60s-ish quality that makes you wish you were back in the Summer of '64 on your way to the beach. If one were to own only one solo effort from Carlisle
's MCA years, this would be the best choice.