Friday, 31 August 2007
Wednesday, 29 August 2007
Pale skin is itching under a neon-lit fever of twisted heartache that is spat out with venomous sarcasm and splendid vitriol - on Say Hello, Wave Goodbye, bitterness and being miserable never sounded so sympathetic and defiant, as if getting hurt is this weeks currency for being magnificent in order to rub salt into the self-inflicted wound. A mist of alienation sweeps past Marc Almond as his devastating vocal cuts right to the gore of tragic partings undeserving of keeping in touch - collecting his ravishingly majestic dignity from being a secret lover of perhaps a married man, Marc mocks his ex-lovers' self-loathing, allowing the cad small remorse, the timing of "take a look at my face for the last time" is the frosty icing on the probably poisoned cake. The Almighty Radio Edit luminates what is already a classic into a solid introduction for the unknowing.
Say Hello, Wave Goodbye (Almighty Radio Edit)
Friday, 24 August 2007
Enigmatic Italian pop myth Gala Rizzatto is something of a visionary, yet her songs are far from impractical and imbued with a keenly absurd intellectual spirit. Freed From Desire translated something so instant into music that is genuinely inventive to this day - her concise lyrics are sometimes bonkers yet always marked by an altogether elegant enthusiasm that many other internationally famous Italian pop stars cannot compete with. Even a rumored speech impediment that tainted her early rise, when many understood her chorus to be a stammered pronunciation of Bananarama, could not put a stop to her mission and the spirited dance diva went on to sell over 6 million CD's that sometimes came with a free jar of Dolmio sauce in specific regions of southern Italy.
The sadistic, gender-bending Let A Boy Cry was theatrically ridiculous enough to serve as an unofficial relation to Dana International's humble signature Diva, holding her sexually ambiguous nerve with an arresting, androgynously flamboyant manner, and contemptuous feeling towards bigots as well as baguettes (a 'no carbs Gala' resulted in a worldwide spaghetti standstill that Italy's tabloids have still not forgiven her for - the Rizzatto clan were also famously exiled after the corrupt practices of the family business 'Rizzatto Risotto' finally went public). After 3 delirious number 1's in her native country, her next single Suddenly could only limp to a pathetic #4 despite Gala's blasse pleas to her home nation that a glass-free 'Rizzatto Risotto' shrimp and fennel recipe would soon restore her family's repuation.
The controversial carbs stance meant an impressive new slim-line physique accompanied her recent musical comeback of sorts - the characteristically dramatic single Faraway did not fare well in France, yet proved to be a top ten hit in Greece where it was also bizarrely covered by a pop idol contestant who took it to number 1. No album title has been given, but clips are up on www.galasound.com: A Different Kind of Love sounds like Holly V's electro-craving Desire with added Cher-isms, but on a budget; Do It vents impatient primal energy; and many others sound equally promising.
Who knows what will happen, but her next move should it be fuelled by either a record deal or national forgiveness promises to be worth waiting for. Through her strained singing, Gala has always grappled with her vocals to make them more interesting, transcending her limitations, which soon became distinctive to her brand of dance and striking iconography. Such a rare capture of bisexual-vibe beauty and mystique, so glamorous and sleek with triumph, it has been nearly a decade since she has last released music in the UK. Here is a timely reminder of her 2 biggest hits.
Tuesday, 21 August 2007
The majestic vocals of dance Queen Marcella Woods are a thing of exquisite execution - they surf the rising wave of then-boyfriend Matt Darey's foaming trance in hypnotic fashion. U Shine On was the follow-up to their top 10 hit Beautiful, yet could only slot into the lower reaches of the top 40 at #38. The song has left it's mark and manages to continually cummulate its allure without ever dipping. The mesmerizing effect of Marcella is evident with Matt continuing to remix their first collab Liberation - Temptation (Learn To Fly Like An Angel) each year since it's 1999 release (#21) - his 2005 edit is possibly my favourite, edging further adrift from trance into almost Jason Nevins style dance-pop territory. The alternative Stuart Crichton Radio Edit of Beautiful washes itself ashore, stripped down to flamenco guitars strumming as if engulfed by a sunset. Marcella remains as poised, elegant, and morbidly regal as ever - if these two erstwhile lovers never unite on record again they at least leave an enchanting legacy.
U Shine One
Liberation - Temptation (Matt Darey's 2005 Deeper Edit)
Beautiful (Stuart Crichton Radio Edit)
Marcella & Matt Megamix
Edit: a further, final, song Voice of An Angel was released as an E.P, but I am having issues locating my copy.
Monday, 20 August 2007
What a thrill - Vicky B's sunkissed dance-slam My Love Is For Real has finally splat and positively melts like Rebecca Loos in the arms of husband David. Sounding like Inner City's Good Life sprayed out of an aerosol can in the middle of summer, I would give it full marks, full stop! This is the most natural and relaxed she has ever sounded, "tingling" stuff indeed. Alongside the singer's 'rexia bags' My Love Is For Real was the worst kept secret she refused to unveil, that is until now. Highly recommended.
My Love Is For Real
Tuesday, 14 August 2007
When Kym Mazelle coos "I want it so deep" she's probably breathing into her local Drive-Thru fast food joint, but it is also clear this gigantic diva needs her fill and by the sound of it only an 8ft tall basketball player is up to the job of delivering this outrageous demand. "What can I do, what can I say" is the caring less shoulder-shrugging reasonable defence. The track itself unassumingly bops along using Italo-house piano keys sharp enough to cut through her disappointing lovers' freshly maxed out credit cards. Her brazen repitition "how can I make you love me the right way?" is the rejoice of an ovulating MILF who revels in glorious 90s "I'll have sex with anyone tonight" dance heaven - a rapturous refrain that suggests she's not exactly caring if her man ain't up to it as she'll go get it else where with the girls. The song's strength is apparant from its simplicity, so much so that despite its casual #22 chart placing it ranks as one of the very finest offerrings from a decade that had a wealth of unforgettable gem after another. Big Maz is a faceless dance diva for sure, yet her enormous capacity to let rip not only after wolfing down a Big Mac but also in the recording booth laying down vocals sets her apart from most. Italian producers Rapination would soon work with botox frog Kylie Minogue on her first Deconstruction album, but would never again find such a spirited muse for primal gyrating meaningless house music.
Love Me The Right Way (Gee & Professor 7" Mix)
Love Me The Right Way (The Real Rapino 12" Mix)
Love Me The Right Way (The Angelino Ambiento Mix)
In 1996 a to be seen Queen and crimson Antipodean raider was on the hunt for gays and adventure - dance was survival. From Australia, Gina Gardiner took aim for flamboyant boys and men who had disposable income to extravagantly purchase CD1's and CD2's, and came ashore to Britain choosing Eurovision - a stage in front of the largest collective of shameless homosexuals assembled in the world each year. A lifelong fanbase that could only dwindle was assured, inspiring yet another Goddess of chronic ironic disco to spend the rest of her career trying to recapture the mercilessly fleeting continental spotlight and an unforgettable facade she could never live up to with diminishing returns.
In 1996-1997 she seemed unstoppable, and whether she has shed the final frayed feather from her by now knackered and a bit whiffy boa remains to be seen. A daunting challenge lays ahead, but her album Fresh! marked a vital landmark of dance diva triumph. A dying breed notwithstanding, you really can't tell when these disco Dollies are going to show up. Having sold her soul to Steve Roadway for the price of one astonishing album and a half eaten packet of bagels, she seemingly has no commercial currency anymore and a significant recovery looks unlikely with every Eurovision serving as a cruel reminder of one of its biggest icons - one has to be concerned.
Motiv8's lightly whipped centre provided the artificial flavouring more irrisistable than a drip feed of glucose is to a bed-ridden diabetic without any limbs. Eurovision 1996 was a Holy war of pop music for gays that defined their future clubbing experience for one whole year exactly - in the space of six highly varied-but-similar and dynamic singles she managed to instill faith instituting her order of continual attack - defenceless drunken gays trapped on dancefloors until they found someone they had not shagged before to go home with had no other option but to endure being raped by her rampantly explosive eurodisco. Exhaustion ensewed and discerning gay music buyers started to anticipate her ingratiating assaults and it was speak to the hand girlfriend!
These days Gina travels the P.A circuit in her caravan - once more gathering gay men (sometimes in gigantic terrified piles) making them sweat and swear to buy her internet-only albums which she happily signs using their own blood or scat. When confronted, these prisoners sometimes simply collapse under her force, a mighty proposition of neverending NRG proclaiming turmoil to consume countless individuals in their tens.
Fresh! was a beguiling mission to endorse her charms, vulnerable and effeminate men without a Father figure itching for a cause struck a chord and were soon instigated or else beheaded. Sometimes often dragging her victims kicking and screaming - with Gina G the whole gay scene changed forever. Her gay club crusades undoubtedly changed pop, spawning a Hi-NRG craze unseen in Europe in the 1990s. Gays previously considered as a marginal music market saw an explosion of brilliance - music was previously an empty void, but Gina gave new opportunities to act and look tragic just by buying her records. Gays willing to be stereotyped could now luminate themselves in a frivolous way that somehow mattered to them. The sun inevitable set, isolating darkness followed as a long and uncertain wait for her sophomore album began..
To this day the turmoil consumes countless net droids as well as the same gays who go to the same gay clubs ten years later, all dreaming that at long last Gina G shall return with a hairflick on the horizon, her Hi-NRG muscle once more ready to be flexed and collect a body count.
Monday, 13 August 2007
Another glistening tidal wave of euro-phlegm glucose is spat in the face of an uncaring world that the Urban Cookie Collective gathered themselves to depart from as if transmitting infectious grooves the best way they know how, or else is a sympathetic anthem for minority groups who like dance music (Gina G also tapped into this almost unheard of niche). The sticky bassline steers the warm current as the sibilating icicle synths arrive in a gust of stormy grandeur. This was the Urban Cookie Collective's 3rd single, nudging itself to #18 in the UK, falling short of their previous top 5 chart successes and yet remains a classic of early 90s rave-pop. Diane Charlemagne stretches her oral walls to provide her trademark plaintive vocal delivery, spitroasted in amongst the raving torrid calamity she is the sober commentator - there were more than a few druggy undertones to this act's material, although their heavy-handed spiritual iconography finds a nice harmony as Charle's sweet voice was not strong but had a light, slighty frayed smoothness to it. The happy union between soft vocals and tame rave suggestion are showcased effectively on their debut album High On A Happy Vibe: Yours Is The Love, Dreaming In Colours, the title track as well as the 3 singles - The Key The Secret, Feels Like Heaven and Sail Away. The slightly poncey Rohan Heathe always seemed to take himself very seriously, not to mention doing a bunker with the royalties whilst leaving his abandoned bandmembers left to find themselves a lawyer or else a job in Greggs, but he was at least moderately hot if you happen to like broody skinny guys with penetrating eyes who like dressing up as monks in order to create an 'image'. Their fleeting chart residency might not have sparked a long-lasting run, but their legacy has proved to be long-lasting with numerous by-numbers dance compilations confidently tracklisting singles number 1 and 2 as if no one has ever heard them. Sail Away euphorically conveys contempt and frustration towards social prejudice, lubricating the soluction to expell, and richly deserves a sharper reverberating profile.
Yours Is The Love
Dreaming In Colours
High On A Happy Vibe
Wednesday, 8 August 2007
Poking through her pandora's box, the Nurd's most explicit hardcore 'slam' Shut Up & Kiss Me rallies her most raw reportoire and demmanding pop agenda to date, waging no regard for polite conversation or personal appearance, she just wants 'mouth to mouth' justice. In full-on pre-WAG audacity mode it is clear for all, not only how she bagged the sometimes delish dish Jamie, but that she is thinking outside that box of hers.
Shut Up & Kiss Me
Not many men shall penetrate my online diva shrine, but Enrique Iglesias is welcome to enter like a friend with benefits is in a phone book - he is there when you need him. His music is a lot of things, but often a triumph of shimmering Metro elegance or else over-produced pop dimensions. To think his 'mainstream' breakthrough might have been very different had it not been for Gina G's wistfull flamenco flutter Ti Amo is a valid point. His 'debut' was a full stomach of often hard to digest romance - thankfully Metro added that rather special seductive gelid dancefloor teasing glint that defines half of his trademark sound even to this day with the recent hit Do You Know.
On Enrique it is clear considerable calculation had gone into the affair - Rick Nowells & Billy Steinberg snatch the pay check and dutifully deliver the precautious, albeit highly generic, I Have Always Loved You, Sad Eyes is a believably maudlin Bruce Springstein cover and Madonna's former collab-whore Patrick Leonard certifies the qualified mid-tempo slice I'm Your Man. Frankly, a cover of La Isla Bonita would have been a revelation.
On his own merits, if it had not been for the hot air of Bailamos, Oye Me is imaginable as his only other shot here at giving Ricky Martin any serious package-packing chart contention even if it is admittedly tepid and trite. 2nd single Rhythm Divine is the best thing here, dripping with flourishing beauty, and Be With You was an American #1. Whitney Houston's chemistry-free duet blows up in smoke and watch the video here to realize how alarmingly asexual Enrique can appear at times. You're My #1 is another pause for thought ballad wherein he tried for a second time to demonstrate his hetrosexuality much more confidently with Alsou, but this album version is a solo climax.
With Enrique, Enrique mounted a pop ballad crusade that shows the beginning of his grand construction as a worldwide pop idol. He would find a more fitting persona in his subsequently more polished albums, but this record offers an innocent contrived charm and even contains the odd gem or otherwise sporadic glimpse of a performer poised for a grander scale.
Be With You
I'm Your Man