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Mostly good, but some very poor inclusions - and it's not very beachy
on 6 July 2006
Beach Angel is the second compilation from Fierce Angel, and the third compilation from Mark Doyle since he left Hed Kandi. Unlike previous offerings, this is unmixed - strangely, the cover doesn't mention this. "Tokyo Disco" was mixed, as was "Tokyo Project: The Collection" - so why isn't this?
Anyway, a minor point. Onto the music.
CD 1 - Full Recline
Some great tracks here, including Cloud "Turning" (great vocals and piano), Tarot & Marbach feat. Dominique Boy "Freeway" (good vocals and melody, great beach feel), Studio Apartment feat. Stephanie Cooke "One True Love" (great vocals and chords but possibly a bit too long), and Clique feat. Bonnie Bailey "Always By My Side" (excellent vocals, chorus is particularly good).
Marks are lost however due to several rather dull and weak tracks: Afromystic "Miracles", Clique feat. Robina "Some kind of wonderful" and Richard Earnshaw "We've Got Joy" are just not quite what we've come to expect from Doyle. Still, this isn't a bad CD, and the beach theme is maintained throughout.
RATING FOR CD 1: 4/5
CD 2 - Upright
Hmm. This is a difficult disc to review. There are some top tunes here, most notably Dab Hands "Do Your Own Thing", Deepsky feat. Jes "Ghost", and Andy Caldwell "Brand New Day". However, these are not what I'd call beach tracks - they're a disco/trance hybrid. Don't get me wrong, they are well worth a listen - and don't be put off by the mention of trance. They are good. Just not really well suited to this collection.
Unfortunately, things get pretty bad in the middle of the CD. The Cuban Brothers "My Love Is Alive" is annoying and sounds cheap, s does Mr Groove and vergas "U Make Me Happy"; whereas Ian Pooley "Balmes" is terrible. Elsewhere, Aya "Sean" is good - but this was featured on Tokyo Project: The Collection - why the repeat here? Oh well, there aren't many other repeats on these first two CDs, I guess.
RATING FOR CD 2: 3/5
CD3 - Back to the Beach
Unlike the first two discs, this is a collection of Mark's "favourite classic tracks". Nothing new here, so I've considered the disc on the quality of the music rather than whether it's new or not.
Most of the tracks are great: Blue Six "Music & Wine", Flower Power "Flower Power", Kaskade "It's You It's Me", Ray Roc feat. Tina Arena "Never", Bonnie Bailey "Ever After", Beth Orton "Central Reservation"... the list goes on. Utterly fantastic.
The lesser tracks are few and far between: Hardsoul "Back Together" isn't bad but it's a bit cheesey; Petalpusher "Surrender" is background music at best; and Solstice "Lovely" is not overly special. But this third disc is still very good indeed.
RATING FOR CD 3: 5/5
OVERALL: Some absolutely stunning tracks are somewhat spoiled by the inclusion of some absolute stinkers. Often, it's a case of mistaken identity, as some trance and disco tracks are included. Not a true beach collection, although the third disc is excellent. RATING: 3/5