An earlier post looked at key songs that heralded the end of the vulnerable, refractory phase of the 15-year cultural excitement cycle, going back to the late 1950s, as it transitioned into the restless, warm-up phase when people start to come out of their shells and mix it up together again.
The song featured from the current vulnerable phase was "Sweet But Psycho," which brought to mind "Buffalo Stance" from the end of the late '80s vulnerable phase. Turns out they're both in the same key -- D-flat major. The major key is a crucial detail, since dance music during the vulnerable phase tends to be overwhelmingly dissonant and minor-key.
There's an even better example of the cusp of the late '80s / early '90s transition, though I didn't realize since it was released as a single in April 1990, despite being released on the album in September 1989. (I go by first release in any format.) It was also a dance hit, and as it turns out, also composed in D-flat major.
It's far more upbeat than the late '80s freestyle sound, although it's still a bit ambivalent about coming out of one's shell. She's scared of letting go and just connecting with somebody, but it's thrilling at the same time -- a clear signal that the refractory phase was ending.
And the rhythm is more simplified, not as start-and-stop or herky-jerky as the freestyle sound was -- something that anyone can get out and dance to without fear of looking awkward. Reminder from the original post on the warm-up phase that simplified dance crazes are hallmarks of the phase, making it easy for everyone to come out of their shells and interact playfully with the opposite sex.
"Don't Wanna Fall in Love" by Jane Child (1989)
Now that the current vulnerable phase is ending, look for the reincarnation of this song in the post-MeToo era. It could have already been released on an album last fall, but just hasn't come out as a single because they're afraid it's too upbeat and socially connecting, putting it out of place among its emo "let me hide under a pile of blankets" peer songs. Musicians have been mining the late '80s more than the early 2000s for recent vulnerable-phase influences to channel, so it may sound more similar to Jane Child than you'd think.