Tangled (Jane Wiedlin album)

Last updated
Jane Wiedlin - Tangled.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedMay 30, 1990
Genre Pop rock, new wave
Label EMI
Producer Peter Collins (all tracks)
Andy Hill (track 9)
Jane Wiedlin chronology
Kissproof World

Tangled is the third studio album by Jane Wiedlin, released in 1990 on EMI Records. It was also her third solo album after leaving new wave group The Go-Go's. The album was produced by Peter Collins, with the track "99 Ways" being co-produced with Andy Hill. [1]



After the American Top 10 success of the 1988 single "Rush Hour" from the album Fur , Tangled took two years to complete and upon release failed to gain any commercial success and sold poorly, which in turn eventually led to Wiedlin's departure from EMI Records. [2] Wiedlin would later state that this was largely due to EMI who failed to promote it. [3] The album was supported by a Summer tour in America, with plans for the tour being announced as early as May 1990. [4]

Two singles were released from the album. The leading and main single "World on Fire," was released with a semi-controversial music video. The single was issued in America, Japan and Italy. [5] The second single was the promotional-only American single "Guardian Angel", which aimed solely at radio airplay. It was issued as a one-track promo picture CD with custom back insert and remains scarce today. [6]

The title track "Tangled" would appear in the 1990 romantic comedy film Pretty Woman . [7] It would be included on the film's soundtrack album release in January 1990. [8]

In the August 1990 issue of the Orange Coast Magazine, Wiedlin spoke of the song "Paper Heart", which was written by Wiedlin, Cyndi Lauper and Richard Orange: "It was sort of a song written by mail, more or less. I'd gotten a demo of the song in the mail and felt that it was real strong. She'd written it with another writer, but I wasn't that happy with the lyrics. I usually don't feel very comfortable singing other people's lyrics anyway. It's difficult to bring the right emotion into it. So, I asked them how they'd feel about me rewriting the lyrics, and they said, 'Go ahead and try, and we'll let you know what we think.' So I did, and they seemed to think the lyrics were OK. I recorded it, and I think the song came out great. You can't tell that it wasn't written at the same time." [9] The song's lyrics, written by Wiedlin, were inspired by Wiedlin learning that her former best friend, who she was no longer in contact with, had become a heroin addict. [9]

Later in a September 12, 1996 article in the Los Angeles Times, writer Jon Matsumoto revealed that the album had left Wiedlin "bitter" about the music industry. The album took two years to complete, and after the shooting of an "extravagant" music video", Wiedlin felt that EMI Records failed to properly promote the album. She commented: "It left such a bad taste in my mouth. It was, 'I can't handle this anymore.' I know [losing label support] happens to people all the time and there's nothing you can really do about it. Luckily, I had the [financial] luxury where I didn't really have to do anything. Then after a couple of years of floating around, I started thinking about doing music again and started writing songs." [10]

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [11]
Orange Coast Magazine favorable [9]
Chicago Tribune Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svg [12]
Los Angeles Times Star full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svgStar empty.svg [13]
Daily Newsfavorable [14]
The Albany Herald favorable [15]
Rocky Mountain News A [16]
Worcester Telegram Gazette Star full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [17]
Newsday favorable [18]
San Jose Mercury News (CA)Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svgStar empty.svg [19]

Upon release, Orange Coast described the album was Wiedlin's "best individual project to date" and singled out "Paper Heart" as the best track. [9] Caitlin O'Connor Creevy of the Chicago Tribune commented on the Wiedlin's "distinct tone" and "an almost ethereal uniqueness to that familiar Go-Go's beat". She felt Tangled was "more mature and considerably less bubble-gummy, bop-'til-you-droppy than that of the now-defunct girls band." [12] Mike Boehm of the Los Angeles Times felt that half the album was "slick and over-sweet", adding it was more successful when Wiedlin "set[s] her fragile, Cyndi Lauper sound-alike voice in more intimate ballad surroundings." [13]

David Dishneau, reviewing the album for the Daily News, commented: "Wiedlin was largely responsible for everything that was good about the Go-Gos. On Tangled, her second solo project, she builds on that reputation. The 10 selections lean toward bouncy, guitar-driven pop with engaging female harmonies that recall such 1980s Go-Gos hits as "Our Lips are Sealed" and "We've Got the Beat." [15] [16] Newsday writer John Anderson felt the album had Wiedlin creating "pop rooted in '60s guitar rock and ringing with defiant optimism". He summarised the album as "persistent and irresistible". [18] San Jose Mercury News described the album as "gracefully engaging pop, setting Wiedlin's pixie trill amid brisk, simple waves of guitar". [19]

Alex Henderson of AllMusic was critical of the album. He commented: "Although a decent musician, Wiedlin doesn't have much of a voice - and her inadequacy as a singer is made all the more obvious by the pedestrian nature of the songs. None of this sugary, girlish pop-rock begins to compare with the Go-Gos' triumphs - or even Carlisle's solo projects." [20]

Track listing

Side one
1."Rain on Me" Jane Wiedlin, Robin Hild, Kevin Hunter, Peter Collins 5:28
2."At the End of the Day"Mark Tibenham, Anton McIlwain4:04
3."Guardian Angel"Wiedlin, Scott Cutler, Dennis Morgan 4:38
4."Flowers on the Battlefield"Wiedlin, Mark Goldenberg4:24
5."Tangled"Wiedlin, Cutler4:45
Side two
6."World on Fire"Wiedlin, Cutler, Terry Hall, Valerie Block3:42
7."Paper Heart"Wiedlin, Cyndi Lauper, Richard Orange4:33
8."Big Rock Candy Mountain"Wiedlin, Larry Tagg4:25
9."99 Ways"Wiedlin, Chris Thompson, Andy Hill 4:35
10."Euphoria"Wiedlin, Paul Gordon 4:52

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