Milli Vanilli/Girl, You Know It’s True

Milli Vanilli were a pop ensemble that both took the world by storm and recieved worldwide scorn in 1989/1990. The brainchild of pop produced Frank Farian, Milli Vanilli were a studio group of musicians who managed to produce a masterpiece of a dance album. Unfortunate for all parties involved, the key members of Milli Vanilli, Fab Morvan and Rob Pilatuswere not Milli Vanilli at all. Instead they were hired models who never actually sand on the release. They were ‘hired’ for their looks and dancing ability alone. Milli Vanilli actually consisted of 5 studio singers Charlie Shaw/John Davis/Brad Howell and Jodie & Lolita Rocco. With 5 top ten singles from the release, Milli Vanilli was awarded a Grammy Award in 1990. After tape problems during live shows, the scam was revealed to the world and the winning Grammy Award was rescinded. None of the members, real or purported, were able to overcome this scandal and Rob Pilatus was found dead of a drug overdose in 1998. Despite people’s perceptions, this debut recording is a masterpiece of near pop perfection and I am not ashamed to admit I still love it to this day.

Girl, You Know Its True—-Perfectly crafted with all the elements that made the early 90’s dance movement popular, this song helped to usher in groups such as C+C Music Factory and Black Box….both of who had their own share of scandal [see Martha Wash review]. The song is high energy, rap infused and thickly layered with machine generated dance grooves. Pure pop heaven.

Don’t Forget My Number—-With more machine generated beats, the song changes tempo often and kicks it in too high gear by the second bar. The vocals are clear and masterfully delivered. The music breaksare masterful and the chorus is so damn catchy I still think of it almost 20 years later. The content is juvenile but feel good and classic late 80’s ingredients. This is nice to revist. Despite who really made this release, they did a hell of a job.

I Can’t Stand To See You Go—-One of the few songs not to recieve airplay, the song is well constructed and a little more R n’ B infused than the earlier tracks. The vocal is magnificent!!! The voice is clear and the breaks in the song are made of masterpieces that can only be created with multiple machines. The song has a nice momentum that keeps it from turning into a ‘love done me wrong’ song…but the sentiment is clear.

Blame It On The Rain—-With a slight island feel to the musical landscape, the tempo is slowed and pleasant. Abandoning the heavy dance rhythms of earlier tracks, the song still has a tad bit of an up tempo. The high hats make the song what it is and this is obviously a producer infused touch. The song has a nice sentiment and is really well crafted. I wish this group of musicians could have come back together with another quality release….but the musical history books are what they are. This is really great!!

Take It As It Comes, Girl—-A nice return to the dancefloor, the song is not as hyper as previous tracks but remains incredibly dancable and full of hooks and movements. This song never received much attention, but is one of the better tracks on the release. The hooksare incredibly catchy and the vocal/lyrical style is unforgettable. This is brilliance…as was the whole ‘scam’…the only downfall is that they got caught.

It’s Your Thang—-Bass and sample heavy, this song is almost more funk than dance. The vocal has lots of female touches and flairs and the musical breaks keep the song sounding fresh. The prominent vocal is slight ‘pop-rap’, and the samples are courtesy of James Brown. The entire song is full of funk and dirty soul…nice but not a favorite of mine.

All About You—-With a heavy bass synth and sampled saxophone, the song moves at a much slower pace. The vocal is a little weak, but the sentiment is strong…..the chorus is a nice journey and does not disappoint. The song does manage to incorporate some of the familiar Farian breaks. this is nice, but close to being a waste of ‘tape’.

All Or Nothing—–The song received huge radio and video play when it was released. The song replays all the elements that made this release HUGE when it was released. The breaks and the beats have the by now familiar ‘euro-disco’ sound. The chorus is almost unforgettable and I bet there are millions of people who could still recite the lyrics to this song. The song takes nice liberties when it breaks from it’s beat and then naturally comes back to where it started. Masterful.

Girl, I’m Gonna Miss You—-By far my favorite track from this release. The sentiment and the feel of the vocal delivery is so real…it will bring you down even if you are in a good place. The chorus comes together in a chorus of vocals that melt your heart and makes you hurt. This is a pure pop masterpiece. The saxophone lends a melancholy voice to the musical track. Frank Farian may very well be a genius.

**** out of 5


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