A major change of direction...Free
found Rick Astley
working with producer Gary Stevenson
instead of the Stock/Aitken/Waterman team and going for a very adult contemporary-type pop/R&B sound instead of the dance-oriented direction that put him on the map. No longer were the Average White Band
and '70s Philly soul/disco valid comparisons; the new...Astley
had more in common with Michael MacDonald and the Doobie Brothers
...There are a few songs on Free
that pack a bit of a punch, including "The Bottom Line" and the rock-influenced "Is This Really Love"...