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8
4.1 out of 5 stars
Beach Angel 2007
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 4 September 2007
In my opinion, Beach House was the most consistent series on Hed Kandi. However, the 2005 edition was a major let-down, and I found the 2006 edition of Beach Angel lacking.

I'm happy to see that this year's instalment is back on track after the last couple of releases, but as a previous reviewer said, there are far too many repeated tracks.

CD 1

The first disc is extremely consistent and enjoyable. "Everybody Wants To Rule the World" is a great remix of the 1980s Tears for Fears track, "Reasons" harks back to the early Beach House compilations, and "Washes Over You" has beautiful sun-kissed female vocals and a really good bassline. Watch out for the piano about halfway into this track: classic stuff.

With "Twisted by the Pool", Mark admits to shameless self-promotion with a new remix of this Fac15 track, but with vocals like these (and top lyrics, I might add) I think the self-promotion can be excused. "So Far" has a nice intro, a funky bass guitar line with a bit of acoustic guitar thrown in, and yet more great female vocals. Later on we have "Universal Love", which starts out nice enough, but after the first minute it really takes off. Absolutely wonderful vocals and melody, lovely harmonies and some utterly unforgettable chords. A real grower.

Peyton is back with "Holiday" - at over 9 minutes, it's long, but brilliant. A slow build-up that lures you in and grabs you after 2 minutes with a classic riff. Then the vocals start at 2:30 and you know he's struck gold yet again. Highly recommended.

Lesser tracks include "Illuminate", which benefits from a bright and melodic female vocal that holds everything together perfectly, but the melody is a bit overdone. "Shining Your Way" goes on a bit, "Answer My Prayer" doesn't have enough variety and is definitely one to skip. I just can't get into "Never Ending" - it's just not that great a tune and gets annoying too quickly. Mediocre really.

Verdict: This is definitely one of the best Beach House / Angel discs I have ever heard. Unfortunately it just misses top marks for having a few mediocre tracks. There's still room for improvement, but this is a big improvement over the Beach House / Angel instalments from 2005-6. Very good. 4/5

CD 2

The problem with this disc is not the quality of the music, but the sheer volume of repeated tracks. We have "Forgiveness", "Safe", "Rise", "You You You", "The Answer", and "(You're Putting) A Rush On Me". That's SIX out of eleven tracks. The last one of that list was only JUST released on Es Vive 2007. A bit cheeky if you ask me.

It wouldn't bother me as much if CD 3 wasn't the "classics" disc. "Safe" sums it up perfectly; perhaps Fierce Angel should take a risk and try out some up-and-coming producers instead of remixing the old tracks when there's already a separate classics disc in this collection! Just a thought. But when all's said and done, the repeated tracks are some of the best.

Elsewhere we have "Surfacing", and I'm with Mark on what he says about this track: it's an absolute classic. The lyrics are great, but the slight downshift in the chorus is simply sublime. And then we have something that almost always wins me over: a piano bit! Then there's "Pacific", a remix of "Pacific State". It's a brilliant remix, with a really enjoyable spin on the original music (particularly the sax) and a wonderful build-up to "that melody". To be honest, I used to think the original was a bit overrated, but this is a vast improvement.

Later on, "Misunderstanding" has a good vocal but the music's a bit boring; "Dig the Vibes" is overly repetitive with unexciting music and average vocals, and "Alive" is a bit of a mess - particularly the bass, which is all over the place and not in a good way. The chorus is pretty good though.

Verdict: Musically this is mostly excellent, but there are SIX repeats / remixes from previous compilations on this disc. I think that's pretty unfair to the faithful followers who buy all of the Fierce Angel releases (I don't have Digital Angel or the sampler yet, but I have the rest). Especially when you consider that this is the second disc, and it's the THIRD disc that's the "official" classics disc. I'm giving this disc a good rating because I liked it a lot, but I'd like to see a lot more new material on next year's Beach Angel, please! 4/5

CD 3

OK, so we're now onto the classics disc, so I have to bear this in mind when doing the review. Before we get started, I should explain what really matters to me about repeating tracks. What matters is how recently we've had a track, and to what degree it's been remixed (if appropriate) as to whether it's a "worthy" repeat or not. I'm not a huge fan of exact copies of tracks on multiple compilations, remixes that sound almost the same as the original, and repeated tracks in quick succession across multiple compilations.

"Cada Vez" has an extremely catchy sax riff and it's got a great latin feel. "Do It Now" has a really infectious melody and top vocals. "To Be In Love" is good and catchy, but a bit busy, and sometimes it sounds like the vocals need a break. Still, good stuff.

"E Samba" is a firm favourite of mine, I first heard this on World Series (the first Hed Kandi mix CD). I remember playing the Beach House disc for my friends one night after clubbing, and the feeling I get from this track sums up how pleased we were with that very first mix. Extremely entertaining and one of those tracks that stays with you for a long, long time!

"The Whirled You Live" is another firm favourite, due to the wonderful piano chords, and of course, the vocals. "Ever After" is the Rasmus Faber track (rather than the track of the same name by Bonnie Bailey), and it has great guitar and good vocals. One of those tracks you've just got to dance to.

"Outro Lugar" is a bit underwhelming at first, but the vocals and accompanying instrumentation ensure that this isn't a track you'll forget in a hurry. What really makes it for me, though, is the bit at 2:14 onwards where the key changes and there are some really lovely chords. "Libre" takes a little time to get going, but the vocals build up nicely, and there are some great harmonies just before the main section kicks in. The chorus is absolutely wonderful, and one of my favourite Beach House tracks ever. Marvellous!

Sorry to say this, but much as I enjoy "So Many Times", I'm going to have to put this on the "overplayed" pile. It works well in a mix, and was faultlessly positioned on Tokyo Project: The Collection (one of Mark's best CDs ever). On that compilation, you have to listen to the whole of disc 1 from start to finish. But we also had it on Es Vive/Base Bar Ibiza 2005, and Disco Heaven 01.05... well, this track certainly lives up to its name! Great track, but let's move onto the next classic now.

"Everytime I Feel It" takes too long to get going, but it's good when it gets there (aside from the "ya!" vocal). A bit cheesey, but pretty good. Finally, "Pasilda" starts off sounding rather dull, then some good piano comes in, and the track gets going after three and a half minutes - halfway into the track. It's not bad, but it's too long a wait for what's a fairly average melody.

Verdict: Unlike CD 2, we know what to expect here - classics. As with CD 3 on Beach Angel 2006, this is full of great tracks and I'd be missing the point if I marked it down. Great stuff. 5/5

Overall: This collection is much more solid than Es Vive 2007, and better than Beach Angel 2006. Mark's clearly back on track, but I still think there's room for improvement. There are very few tracks that I skip here. However, there are just too many repeated tracks (aside from the ones you expect to see on disc 3) for this to get full marks. Maybe next year, eh? 4/5
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 5 September 2007
Well what can I say..except buy this..!! This has definately hit the mark ( no pun intended ) this time, Fierce Disco ( received as a pressie ) was, for me lacking in direction and content. It too had oldies but didn't work due to the aforementioned..I agree with Mr Barden's synopsis/review totally, however I am not going to mark it down due to the high content of old songs as the re-mixes and flow of the Cd's totally work..CD1 is more laid back and the stand out tracks are 2,3,4, and 10, CD2 and is very reminiscent of Disco Kandi of past..it starts slowly and within a couple of tracks you are up on the dancefloor..CD3 as Mark says Latin House Anthems he doesn't lie and the track listings are there for everyone to see, so why berate the man when he was open and honest??;- and what a CD..!! Shake your booty from beginning to end..! I agree the feel of the collection , especially CD 2 is moving away from the Balearic, Latin smooth feel of previous Beach House with a slightly more Central/Western European edge, but what a soundtrack to the summer or your Saturday night..! this CD def more uptempo than Beach 2006, which doesn't actually get off the ground on Cd2 when you think it might climax with a stormer track, and for me this just edges it, but don't get me wrong Beach 2006 still bloody good..! For those that were having a moan re the cost/inclusion of re-worked classics ratio - 1 Did you not read the track listing before purchase..? and 2 - Use your noggin- source it at a decent price from the market place,( or elsewhere )..Well done Mark back on track..! But as a foot note , I know you are working hard to establish this little nugget of genius but could you source some good new tunes if poss, I know they might not be out there or meanie label execs being nasty with licences, but please try before even your most ardent fans jump ship back to ..sshh .....!!
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I really like this album, been enjoying hed kandi for a while. I bought this to get one track on disc 2 track 5 but i really love the mixes they have put together. Once again they haven't disappointed.
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on 30 October 2012
Great summer balearic tunes, melodic triple CD, I rarely write reviews, but this was worthy of the effort, I highly recommend.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 30 August 2007
Like last year's Beach Angels album, this is the perfect summer compilation of chilled out tunes ideal for relaxing to in the garden, on the beach or by the pool. Highlights include Cerrone's 'Misunderstanding' along with 'You're Putting A Rush On Me' by Eighteen, although the album is full of gems spread across the 3 discs.
My only complaint is that there aren't enough new tracks on this album. Fans of Hed Kandi / Fierce Angels will probably already own everything on disc 3's 'best of latin house' collection although many may enjoy having them all together on one disc in unmixed full length form. And as Fierce Angels compilations are spread across 3 discs as compared to Hed Kandi's 2, this CD is really an added bonus.
However elsewhere on discs 1 and 2 tracks by the likes of Fac 15, Samantha James and Bonnie Bailey have been turning up in one version or another on these compilations for years and personally I'd rather they make way for some new material, especially as 'Beach Angels' is only released once a year.
Having said that, this is really only a minor gripe and as a whole 'Beach Angels 2007' is a stunning collection with enough here to please old and new fans alike...and thankfully way better than this years 'Beach House' compilation from Hed Kandi!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 30 August 2007
I agree this certain aspects of the two previous reviews. Personally I prefer the more Latin/deeper/Naked music sound of the first two Hed Kandi "beach house" albums. Since then every "beach", album Mark has complied has got far more European. Thats not to say this album is terrible but so many of the tracks have already been used by Mr Doyle.

1st) C.D highlights
Track 1) spooky cover
Track 3) wouldn't look out of place on first two "beach house" albums.
Track 5) not his best, but Miguel is always reliable

2nd) C.D highlights
Track 5) would sound great chillin' on the beach
Track 8) great dance tune, but probably would have suited a Fierce Disco c.d more than an beach album.

C.d 3 contains some classics but I already own ALL of them.
My advice, buy the first two "beach house" albums
Buy this and edit it into 1 great c.d
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 3 September 2007
The compilation that adds sunshine as this summer moves to an end... Great tracks on all of the three CDs: everyone should find something dear and wonderfully uplifting! I particularly liked those classic tracks: 'Reasons', 'Forgiveness', 'Rise', and 'Safe'. While Peyton's 'Holiday' and 'Outro Lugar' - a great classic now and then - could well become a beautiful soundtrack to anybody's holidays! Blissful! Thank YOU, Angelic Team!!!
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3 of 15 people found the following review helpful
This album just does not deliver!

The beats are less than infectious, the overall tone and rhythm of the album just doesn't add up to anything spectacular. If what Mark Doyle wants is to give us 3 CD's worth of unadulterated mumbo-jumbo with no time-keeping ability then he has succeeded.

To look at the album as a whole, it just isn't formulaic.
- CD 1 consists of a quirky, mellowed sound, lamely chopped up and intersected with monotonous beats completely out of tune with current in-fashion house music... alright for your average punter but nothing stands out as having that 'special touch'.
- CD 2 fares slightly better, with the emphasis being on a continuation of sound and a more riveting undertone to it. However, with mixes from the in-house production team i.e. Eric Kupper who is closely related business-wise to this project, you can't help but feel he has been pressured to labour slightly too hard over otherwise mediocre tunes.
- CD 3 is completely lost on me! Where the inspiration for Latino vibes comes from I do not know. They certainly stand a mile apart from the other 2 CD's production values and although the mixing is on form, yet again I'm left asking the question: 'What is Mark Doyle trying to achieve with this compilation?'.
The direction is vague and the style ambiguous. The overall tone is one of flaccidness and the album suffers a severe lack of purpose.

Something which should have promise stands up to immense failure. A new label comes along and seems good for a while, but once the gleam fades away you see a label for what it is worth. I wonder just how long the appeal will last now that Jason Brooks and his artwork have returned to Hed Kandi?

Mark Doyle might have thought he was still the creative legend that he was when founding Hed Kandi, but the established vehicle he has left has motored on past his brand new sports car whose engine has overheated and blown up after the first lap.

A real shame.
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