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Truecolours09 (London, UK)

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All The Lovers
All The Lovers

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very mixed bag of remixes, 28 Jun 2010
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This review is from: All The Lovers (Audio CD)
The five stars are for the single version of 'All The Lovers' - included on this CD - which is a compelling, uplifting piece of pulsating pop. The transition from the breathy piano section to the middle eight and then on to the outro is inspired. Also included is the stunning video (directed by Joseph Khan) in which Kylie encourages an ever-increasing crowd to express their desires!

The Wawa and MMB Anthem mix is easily the best of the remixes here: it keeps the melody in place, ramps up the bassline to feel much punchier and replaces that happy/sad synth riff with something altogether more triumphant and straight-forwardly clubby.

Unfortunately, the Michael Woods remix takes things in a 'big beat' direction - harsh, clumpy and almost tuneless. The XXXchange remix is even worse - ugly sounds like low-level industrial machinery, repetitive snatches of vocals layered meaninglessly on top of each other and absolutely none of the charm of the original. It's constantly irritating and you can't wait for it to be over. Having said all this, perhaps these two remixes will appeal to a particular audience that is otherwise averse to the soft, melodic pop that Kylie specialises in.

It's a shame that this CD doesn't contain the Fear of Tigers remix, which in many ways improves on the original version. Remixers like Moto Blanco, Freemasons, Cahill, Buzzjunkies etc could also have done something special given the chance.

Worth purchasing for the original and Wawa mixes and for the celestial vibes of the video.

All The Lovers
All The Lovers

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pulsating electronic pop triumph!, 28 Jun 2010
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This review is from: All The Lovers (Audio CD)
There's little that can be said about the single mix of 'All The Lovers' that hasn't been mentioned by many others - still fresh after hundreds of plays, this is a deceptively simple classic Kylie single. There is just so much to love: the way the notes seem to spill over one another, the euphoric middle-eight that arrives from nowhere, the transition into a massively uplifting outro (with it's subtle changes to the naggingly catchy riff). It has that kind of 'almost of out of tune' synth sound that made MGMT's 'Time To Pretend' so compelling. Contender for pop single of the year.

Once you've got past the eyebrow-raising title, the exclusive second track - 'Go Hard Or Go Home'- starts well with guitar strumming, sweet vocals and a lovely summery vibe. Then there's a nasty bit with a backing vocalist saying 'hey' for no particular reason and some cheap-sounding synth stabs. It's rescued by an supremely lightweight, frothy chorus that recalls the PWL era (but with none of the associated minor-chord melodrama). As a bonus track, it's a pleasant (though underwhelming) addition to the Kylie back-catalogue.

CD has card cover only (no case) and the choice of cover photo is rather odd.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 23, 2010 8:20 AM BST

Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £54.93

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Riding the wave of change, 25 Jun 2010
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This review is from: Subconscious (Audio CD)
This follow-up to debut album 'Rise' is again beautifully produced, with Samantha's warm and languid vocals sitting on top of the mix. There are still the floaty, chilled-out 'beach house' tracks that fans would anticipate ('Waves of Change', 'Subconscious', 'Tonight' and 'Life Is Waiting'). 'Veil' is the standout; dreamy house that is uplifting, spiritual and incredibly light. The first half of this collection is perfect for warm summer evenings, or providing solace after a difficult day.

However, this collection is back-loaded with a run of slower and introspective songs. Co-written by Samantha, the emotional fallout from the loss of her father during the making of the album informs many of these later tracks. 'Again and Again' is wonderful: a delicate, honest piano ballad that comes to the conclusion that "What cannot be changed must learn to be accepted. It's time to face reality". It's not morbid or depressing; it's full of love and appreciation for others.

This isn't an album of obvious 'big' moments - no stunning choruses, unexpected melodies or instantly euphoric breakdowns. The appeal is in it's sincerity: a singer-songwriter sharing her life story, trying to reconcile her innate sense of positivity with difficult times.

The album artwork includes the quote:'There are no limitations to the self except those you believe in'. It's that kind of album - generous in spirit and full of hope.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 23, 2010 8:17 AM BST

Flesh Tone
Flesh Tone
Offered by Direct Entertainment UK
Price: £4.09

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I love this so much right now, 17 May 2010
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This review is from: Flesh Tone (Audio CD)
One look at the sleeve design makes it clear that Kelis is not about to be turned into some kind of bland, generic dance artist. She risks a back cover shot which peels away her skin to reveal every sinew beneath and a centrefold in which she is presented Sphinx-like as half woman and half animal.

It's this sense of being slightly off-kilter that has always informed Kelis' work. 'Flesh Tone' sees her move firmly into an electro/house sound and yet she remains distinct - this feels genuinely inventive and fresh.

Lead single 'Acapella' still sounds stunning - the Donna Summer vibes competing with an almost atonal, throbbing backing that at first threatens to overwhelm it but eventually enables the track to take flight. Hugely uplifting and anthemic.

It must be said that the songwriting is at times a bit disappointing. The chorus of 'Emancipate', for example, features the phrase 'Emancipate Yourself' repeated sixteen times. There is also a lack of melody in some places, with the (albeit catchy) hooks covering up some occasionally dull tunes.

Yet the sheer joy of the surging basslines on tracks like 'Home', 'Brave' and '22nd Century' is undeniable. There is also some variety - first track 'Intro' is a lovely minor-chord piece of Euro synth pop. Final track 'Song For The Baby' is the most instantly appealing song on the album - lyrically similar to 'Acapella' (celebrating the love she has for her new baby) it also has a sweeter, Salsoul-era disco feel.

At only nine tracks long, this is an album that should be heard in full. With tracks segued into one another (not mixed, but musically linked together) it's a collection that takes Kelis into new, exciting musical territory.

Love And Its Opposite
Love And Its Opposite
Price: £9.34

20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reflective and honest, 16 May 2010
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This review is from: Love And Its Opposite (Audio CD)
I had been a little worried that - after the electronic 'bedsit disco' brilliance of last album 'Out of the Woods' - the promised return to Tracey's acoustic roots might prove something of a letdown.

In reality, these tracks (concerned with growing older, reflecting on relationships) are delicate and touching. There have been a few sniffy reviews in the press which seem unable to believe that an adult woman should be writing about what it's like to be a mother, to see friend's relationships break up or to worry about their own future. Yet it's this specificity that makes the album so affecting; the details of other people's lives that say something about our own.

I particularly enjoyed 'Late in the afternoon', which contemplates the passing of time and wonders whether it's possible to keep a long term relationship fresh when there's little new to discover about each other. Alongside 'Long White Dress' and first single 'Oh! The Divorces' this is Tracey at her best: direct lyrics, haunting vocals and a sensitive acoustic production.

There are some faster and more production heavy tracks - 'Hormones' is a handclappy, amusing look at a mother/child realtionship whilst 'Singles Bar' is a brutally honest look at dating again after the end of a relationship. 'Swimming' is a brilliant track that builds and builds.

If you've loved Tracey Thorn's voice in the past, then you should enjoy this album immensely. I do miss the electronica but there's no doubt that these starker backdrops allow the lyrics to really stand out and also enable the vocals to sit right in front of the mix. It's a beautiful album that moved me in its honesty but also made me smile at its sharp observations.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 28, 2010 8:22 AM BST


5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic pop single, shame the CD doesn't contain more mixes, 2 May 2010
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This review is from: Bittersweet (Audio CD)
When 'Bittersweet' made its unofficial YouTube debut (and also its UK radio debut) it was in the guise of its full Freemasons club version. The huge synth line dominated the track and it felt dangerously tense and thrilling. It was like early 80s synth pop being lovingly recreated as anthemic, melodic house music.

Strangely, the CD single version does not contain that mix of the track. The standard radio mix has a differently feel entirely - with the melody taking centre stage and the busy production doing more to punctuate the verses. That overwhelming synth line is buried within the mix, merely hinted at after each chorus. Sophie's vocals are as deliciously haughty and unreadable as ever; she is able to inject the lyrics with a sense of unease, the feeling that there is a lot more going on just beneath the surface. This mix is initially far less exciting but, given time, grows in stature and has the greater emotional pull.

Second track 'Sophia Loren' is currently unavailable elsewhere and some may feel that this gives value to the CD single. Musically, it's more in keeping with Sophie's 'indie pop' sensibilities and its stuttery, jerky stucture leaves me a little cold.

The download bundle includes the Freemasons club version and also a (rather poor) Jodie Harsh mix.

Tango 3.0
Tango 3.0
Price: £11.25

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poised, dramatic & very much back on form, 22 April 2010
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This review is from: Tango 3.0 (Audio CD)
After feeling slightly disappointed in Gotan Project's last studio album - Lunatico - it's a great feeling to have them back on top form again.

Things get off to a languid start with 'Tango Square' but the beautiful sound of the bandoneon makes its prescence felt immediately. Next up is 'Rayuela', which uses snatches of sampled voices and has an oddly moving section where children recite numbers and verse.

As with previous albums, the best tracks are those which bring together the sounds of tango and Argentinian folk but underpin them with hip-hop influenced beats and tense instrumentation. 'La Gloria' is the standout here, which is full of drama and has lots going on within the mix (including crowd noise, football commentary, unusual little melodic flourishes). All the while, there is this creeping sense of danger and intrigue. 'Tu Misterio' is another great track - male lead vocals for a change, minor chords and a twisting, elegant melody.

'Panamericana' is more upbeat, with handclaps and a sound that reminds me of Dolly Parton's 'Jolene' (sounds an odd combination, but it works!)

Final track, 'Erase Un Vez' is gorgeous - pure Gotan Project magic, with an rich female vocal.

With 'Tango 3.0', Gotan Project seem to have rediscovered the essence of their sound. There is variety here but undeniably the strongest moments are those which recall the finest moments of their earlier work. This could be the soundtrack to many people's summer.

Dance Love Pop
Dance Love Pop

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best things come to those who wait, 3 April 2010
This review is from: Dance Love Pop (Audio CD)
Finally released in the UK, after months and months of waiting (with minimal promotion and long after the initial wave of interest has subsided).

This is a superb pop album that contains the soundtrack of last summer in 'Release Me' and the inexplicably poorly received 'I Need You Now'. 'Love, Love, Love' is glorious - a glitterball of a song that starts in Copacabana-esque 'cabaret style' and then explodes into joyously knowing disco. It's melody is so familiar, so immediate, that you feel like singing along from the moment the beat kicks in.

Elsewhere, there is the melancholy Euro-disco of a remixed 'Big Blue Wall' (complete with the trademark Agnes ad-libs during the outro) and the harder-edged dance sound of 'On and On' (now remixed to sound more flowing, with a bigger chorus uplift & additional strings) . Best of all, new track 'Secret Love' is an immediate pop smash that just about slams its melody right at you: stirring synths, propulsive bassline and a brilliantly double-edge lyric make this an album high point.

The album's outer artwork is not as pleasing as the original 'Dance Love Pop - Love Love Love edition'. The sense of magic has gone, replaced by a more coldy efficient kind of marketing. Inside the booklet, the lyrics have been removed altogether. This, plus the removal of the excellent 'Don't Pull Your Love Out', is the only real disappointment.

It's a pity that the album's campaign has been messed around so much. Agnes has created a pure pop classic that may be destined to become a 'secret love', known only to a small number of UK music fans. Nonetheless, at least it's euphoric beauty is now available for all those who seek it out.

Acapella (Album Version)
Acapella (Album Version)
Price: £0.99

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Donna Summer vibes on overload, 31 Mar 2010
Outstanding new single from Kelis, which reinterprets the Giorgio Moroder / Pete Bellotte production style (particularly Donna Summer's 'Once Upon A Time' album).

Classic disco harmonies sit next to a throbbing layer of instrumentation and bassline. Indeed, the overwhelming and almost atonal production at first threatens to derail things completely. If you only listen to the audio clip on Amazon, it all seems rather harsh and uninspired. However, this is merely the prelude to a huge melodic sweep of a chorus that is celebratory yet underpinned by that naggingly insistent and worried bassline.

Wonderfully fresh, exciting track that recalls 70s disco but relocates it to a very current electro-pop dancefloor.

Offered by rbmbooks
Price: £12.35

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect launch pad, 28 Feb 2010
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This review is from: Rocket (Audio CD)
What's most striking about 'Rocket' is the way it evokes an early 80s glossy pop sound (with the feel of 'Heart Attack' era Olivia Newton John). It's hugely uplifting and melodic - with an innocent, almost naive directness that's incredibly fresh.

This CD single comes with four other versions and, unusually, all of them present an interesting new take on the single version (and keep the melody and vocals pretty much intact).

The Penguin Prison Remix is the standout on the CD - with its twinkly sound effects, oddly mournful chords and Italo-disco stylings.

The Richard X One Zero Remix and the Tiesto Remix both offer a melodic trance take on 'Rocket' - with the former offering a slightly chunkier proto-disco feel and the latter coming off all dreamy and euphoric.

The Grum Remix takes things in a Harold Faltermeyer-ish synth direction.

In summary, an excellent remix package that proves that - when artists really care about their material - the CD single format can be an artform in its own right.

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