Saturday, 6 March 2010

Alison Limerick - Spirit Rising

Also-was 90s dance diva Alison Limerick is famous for one song only, Where Love Lives. 1998's Spirit Rising album teamed her up with some big name producers such as Brian Taylor and Livin' Joy's Visnadi making it an interesting proposition for the one hit wonder to turn things around.

That is, until you press play. The title track is the first Metro offering and starts off promisingly: gospel wailing worthy of Dana Dawson and mild house beats splashing in yo' face. Alison's vocal is flawless, gorgeously digging so deep you would probably check for an adam's apple if you ever met her. 7/10

Never Knew is a sturdy mood peice with a groaning bass and suitably deep vocal massage from Limerick. It lacks a truly inspiring chorus, but the style is impeccable even if things never quite leave the ground. 7/10

Let's Hold On (To Love): sliced and diced, razor sharp house beats and a bass that salutes towards I Like To Move It. Piano keys are added into the mix. Alison sings true to form. It's all there - except for a memorable hook. 7/10

Slow-burning stunner Put Your Faith In Me is a gorgeous, breathy ambient number. It's the sole Visnadi track, but don't expect anything as epileptic as Don't Stop Moving. It's clear there are not going to be any rapid-fire melodies here, and this is a huge grower if you are willing to accept it on these terms and submit to the thickly spread grooves. Sumptuous production, Limericks's warm and uplifting vocals wrapping themselves around the sensual atmosphere, and an anthem almost slides out. The album highlight - it sounds like a Mary Kiani track, or imagine Lonnie Gordon's Beyond Your Wildest Dreams having an asthma attack. 8/10

Acoustic strummer How Happy has its melody shoplifted from Starbucks, riffing and ripping off Everyday People and Janet's Got Till It's Gone. 6/10

Drum N' Bass stodger Stronger Love is an ambient flush of tranquil and earie sounds and vocal distortions - she remembered to pack everything in that's for sure, just not a fucking melody. 6/10

At this point I'd give anything for a Kylie cover, but the jazzy Dangerous Game is more No No No (You Don't Love Me And I Know Now) or Blue Bell's Remember Me but with dementia. Also think of the Levi's Ad from the 90s, Underwater Love. 6/10

With a phat bass, Take It Easy doesn't quite pick up the pace, but her backing singers will certainly be choreographed to click their fingers for it. Polished and all the rest, it just sounds like an M People outtake. 6/10

It's Getting Better (This Could Be Good) - I think the parenthesis is what the album should have been called. The talent she is hiring here do not 'rise' to the occaision, with only the reportedly 'asshole-ish' Visnadi living up to his hype for poor baldie Alison. You can't ever fault her vocals, which certainly keep the exercise afloat, and this album is definately a fine showcase for their lush prowress, but lacks the proper impact she deserves - neither dance, nor jazzz, nor singer-songwriter, she really should have chosen direction more affirmatively. Put the album on and fall asleep, but fall asleep feeling really quite good and satisfied about it. 6/10

1 comment:

Mike said...

I love Alison! She was so trash!