Long-term romance is the focus of “Forever and For Always,” “When You Kiss Me” and “I’m Gonna Getcha Good!”(“Don’t want you for a night/I’m only interested if I can have you for life”). “Ka-Ching!” puts materialism and spending sprees in their place. The singer reminds fans that hard times don’t last forever and that we have to fight through them (“Up!” “C’est La Vie”). A woman’s role in making the world a better place is much more than window dressing on “Not Just a Pretty Face.” “What a Way to Wanna Be!” tells females not to be obsessed with their appearance (“Why be perfect? . . . This is not some contest—just do your best”). That sounds good, but . . .
It seems hypocritical coming from an artist who has played up her sex appeal in every possible way (including CD photos here) and reinforced the unrealistic standard she’s criticizing. While pro-life, “I Ain’t Goin’ Down” finds a woman who bore a child out of wedlock proud she “didn’t give in and give her away”—implying weakness in young mothers who offer their children for adoption.
It’s a unique strategy to package two discs of the same songs together, one with pop arrangements, one country. Minor glitches, but Up! is a mostly solid pick.