Monday, 10 May 2010

Dana International Incarnate: A Brief Guide

Trance-tranny Dana International is an unlikely Queen of trance (see explanations as to why it is her secret - hodi - ingredient below), with dabbles in Rn'B here and there, who probably has a new album coming out this year, the follow-up to 2007's Hakol Ze Letova. She's Israel's transsexual sweetheart, judging on their own 'Idol' variation and here are some of her highlights of which I think are perhaps most easy to penetrate for beginners:

She has it in her chilly dancefloor ballads (the arctic pathos howling through Hakol Ze Letova, Lola is Mylene Farmer meets Chicane, and the dreamy frostbitten Tachlom is stoic melancholy captured at its most vulnerable);

She adds glow-stick, Hi-NRG sirens (the sharp vitriol of Nitzachti rivals 90s Dead or Alive, the scorching Mifrats Ha Ahava is not a million miles from Celebration's dancefloor exhaustion, she gets camp cramp on the Sex & The City literate Glamorous, which sounds extracted from the same vein as Diva, and piano-tremoring Tagid Li Mi is just superb);

Below: French-language single Lola's video was her most expensive operation since you-know-what.
and froths it up into pop (the Eiffel 65-ish Ata Ha-DJ Shelí, the dreamy treacle of Sipur Ahavtem Shel Chas Ve-Chalilaand, and her biggest radio hit ever Love Boy).

The piano-driven Betula is another favourite and shapeshifts into Suzanne Vega, whilst the glitzy anthem Flash Gordon is another beguiling strand of her accentric charm.

She sometimes played it wrong: covering Stevie Wonder's Free threw away her Eurovision spot when Isreal played host following her 1998 victory, she played it straight covering Woman In Love (her version of Yes Sir, I Can Boogie is better), and the Sony deal collapsed under ambiguous circumstances).

Above: Dana gives it the 'ethnic virgin' on the set of her Secret Hodi video shoot.

The scorned vitriol of the single At Muchana is a better version of Rihanna's Shut Up & Drive, and Eifo Halev? is another Chicane (Stoned In Love) dancefloor pounder. She even channels RuPaul on Cinque Milla ('is this my turn - you want me to sing now?') quoting Annie Lennox - for many this is her signature song (Geri Halliwell paid tribute to Dana's banana riding in her own video to Ride It, and Love Never Loved Me was the best song Ms. International never recorded).

Above: Cher and La Toya Jackson clearly two of Dana's biggest style icons as she double-checks for something.

Her best albums (for me) are 2001's Yoter VeYoter (listen for influences of Madonna's Music album and the Spice Girls' Forever I kid you not), and 2007's Hakol Ze Letova, which I think is her masterpeice.

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