Four years after the release of Spellbound
, Paula Abdul
returned with the sleek Head Over Heels
. Head Over Heels
doesn't sound all that different than her previous album; it incorporates a couple of current dance trends without ever letting the beats dominate the accessible pop melodies of the songs. Unfortunately, the songs are more well constructed than well written -- all of the arrangements hide the fact that the songs usually lack strong hooks. That weakness is accentuated by the length of the album. Approaching nearly 70 minutes, Head Over Heels
spends too much time with lesser songs. Abdul
remains an engaging presence, even with her limited vocal talents, and the record's best songs -- the slinky "My Love Is for Real," for instance -- are more mature and seductive than her earlier works, showing that she has the possibility to grow old gracefully.