Through bits and pieces on YouTube, and because the album won’t be released in North America until the fall (which will be the first release of a studio album of hers here since 1996) but has been released in most of Europe already – I’ve heard Bonnie Tyler’s most recent album, Between The Earth And The Stars. Since I seem to be one of the few “Bonnieologists” out there on this particular continent, I’d thought I’d give a review – as I did back in 2013 with Rocks And Honey.
In short, I think this was one of her better studio albums of the 17 she’s released since 1977 – with probably only 1983’s Faster Than The Speed Of Night rivaling it. (I’d give it an 8.5 on a 1 to 10 scale if you’re keeping score.) If what Bonnie has said recently in the European media a few times is true, I’m suspecting this will likely be (at almost two months shy of 68) her last studio album in a career that spanned half a century. I certainly don’t want that to be the case – but the clock eventually catches up to all of us sooner or later, right?
I’ve always thought Tyler might have one more hit over here in the US, as evidenced when the solar eclipse in August of 2017 briefly made her a thing once again in the United States, remembering how “Total Eclipse Of The Heart” was a big hit worldwide in 1983. A “best of” album briefly charted in Billboard’s Top 200 albums around that time, which ended a gap of over 31 years since Secret Dreams and Forbidden Fire made the lower end of the charts in the spring of 1986. After that, I thought perhaps that was the “one more hit” that I had envisioned for her and not any new material that could come along.
But then again, when I had these dreams of Bonnie having that one last hit in America over the years, I kept seeing a year with a 9 in it. First I thought the 9 meant 19-something as in the previous century, then 2009 – and now, here we are in 2019. Perhaps, this will be her time.
“Hold On” was easily the best song on the newest album, though if the album is released here in the fall as planned – her new label, earMUSIC, will probably push her duet with Rod Stewart. “Battle Of The Sexes” kind of disappointed me – both put in their usual good vocal work and by no means is it a terrible song, but it didn’t seem there was any chemistry between them within the song itself. If “Battle” is released as a single and charts (and that might not be the big “if” it would have been a few years ago), Bonnie and Rod could break some of the elder age records on Billboard, and that’s probably where the money is to be made publicity-wise if anywhere.
If this indeed winds up being Bonnie’s last studio album (I do think she’ll continue on and do tours into the 2020’s – and oh by the way, North America gets another total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024), it’s not a bad capper for her. I’ll get it when it comes out over here, for sure – it could wind up being somewhat of a collector’s item.