Because Kim Wilde's original British label, RAK records, had been unable to establish the singer as an American star despite her 1981 semi-hit "Kids in America" -- her third album hadn't even found a U.S. distributor -- Wilde and her manager father (former '50s pop star Marty Wilde) moved to the multinational conglomerate MCA, which recast the young singer in an entirely new light. Gone was the new wave synth pop feel of her earlier work, replaced by a sleekly electronic Hi-NRG disco sound and a sexier image. Although the change in direction would reap rewards (financial ones, anyway) in the future, Teases & Dares is a limp, shaky record, probably the weakest of Wilde's career. Frustratingly, the best songs are those which hint at a more intriguing direction, that of a sort of new wave torch singer. Dramatic ballads like "Fit In," "Shangri-La," and "Thought It Was Goodbye" (all of which, interestingly, were written by Wilde herself, a new development) are much more listenable than soggy, repetitive dance tracks like "The Touch" and "The Second Time." However, both of those songs were hits, and so Wilde's future was sealed. ~ Stewart Mason
Uncut (magazine) (p.88) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "'The Second Time' has zest..."