Archive for dance music

The Essential 80’s Vol. 1-5

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on 210000006-04:00 12 by marky7235

Vol. 4

Love Will Tear Us Apart Again [Joy Division]—-With this track, considered the only close to hit release in the US, this band gained a cult following until Ian Curtis’ death. The band went on to become New Order and conquer the world….but this is where it all started. This bleak and dark tome to love never tires on me.

Wishing [A Flock Of Seagulls]—-The second single from the self titled debut release, this was a bit longer than the average radio single…but played in the dance clubs rather well. The sound is so comforting and familiar I just have to sit here and listen to the entire thing again and again. The space age feel is everywhere on this track!

Der Kommissar [Falco]—-The only hit single for Falco in the US [unless you include the oft heard Amadeus], this track was played every where and even covered by the American band After The Fire. I prefer the German version….its more fun to guess the sentiment. This is another track that never wears on me.

I Love Rock And Roll [Joan Jett]—-Branching out on her solo career after the demise of The Runaways, Jett scored a gigantic hit with this harder rock track then we were accustomed to hearing on 80’s radio. This has energy, aggression and you can dance to it. We love Joan!!!

Supersonic [ JJ Fad]—-Not so much a radio hit as a cult classic, play this for your friends and remind them when Electro really started. Not only is the beat incredible but the vocals are fantastic…..the speed these girls manage to twist words by is mind numbing. A true classic 80’s track.

The Breaks [Kurtis Blow]—-I was never familiar with Blow until I heard this on the soundtrack from Def Jam [?]. Blow has a vocal that is distinct and instantly recognizable. I love how he always sounds like he is out of breath when he raps….this is classic old school!

The Roof Is On Fire [Rock Master Scott And The Furious Three]—-Any one familiar with the origins of rap and the beginning of the movement knows all about this track. If you don’t, become familiar with this house rocker!!!

I’m Not Having It [Special K]—-Built on simple beats and relying on the give and take of the vocal flow, this track was overplayed and feels a little bit old for me…..it’s an ok track…but it has been done over and over before.

Just A Friend [Biz Markie]—-There is nothing redeeming about this song…..I just don’t like it or Biz!!!

Jenny/867-5309 [Tommy TuTone]—-The saddest thing about this single was the simple fact that no one considered listening to the rest of this album….which is damn exceptional. This is a bona fide 80’s hit….but TuTone still records and tours….playing this whether he wants to or not.

Situations [Cetu Javu]—-I know a lot about the 80’s decade, but I sure don’t know this song!!! It is poppy and reminds me a bit of Men Without Hats. It has a very distinct British sound….there is no denying it should have been heard much more…..

Funky Cold Medina [Tone-Loc]—-Built on the distinct vocal of Tone, that deep baritone is instantly recognizable. This was more of a 90’s hit….but it is on here despite that. Following a few hit singles, Loc now does voice-overs on cartoons.

Treat ‘Em Right [Chubb Rock]—-1990…..I won’t argue over brass tacks though. The beat is pure NYC…the flow is slick and smooth. Still a whole lot of fun to listen to!!

 

*** out of 5

The Essential 80’s Vol. 1-5

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on 210000006-04:00 12 by marky7235

Vol. 3

Round And Round [Ratt]—-Another of those classic hair bands that really made a huge splash thanks to the distinct vocal flair of Stephen Percy and the unique guitar style of the band. This track is still contagious, infectious and instantly recognizable. This is a track that despite the bands differences, will never fade.

Lost In Your Eyes [Debbie Gibson]—-Along with Tiffany, Gibson was one of the original teeny boppers that had huge singles in the 80’s. Thanks to MTV, shopping mall tours and media exposure we became saturated and tired of them quickly. This song is still pretty quaint and sweet in its way though….it’s a keeper.

Cherry Pie [Warrant]—-Finding huge success in the 80’s thanks to sexy videos and a damn good-looking lead singer, Warrant scored 4 or 5 top ten hits and then the band imploded around drug abuse and in fighting. We are still left with nice gems like this though…..thanks for the memories!!!

It Takes Two [Rob Base]—-Built on a beat that is indelible, the familiarity of this song remains unforgettable. Sampled time and time again in modern rap tracks, that annoying squeal has become part of American culture……and the amazing thing….I like it all over again.

Everytime  You Go Away [Paul Young]—-Paul Young always had a sweet, sexy and sultry sound to his voice. He reminds me of a slight blues singer trapped in the wrong body. This track…..also recorded by 80’s darlings Hall & Oates, I think Young did a much better job. This always gives me that melancholy feel. A true vocal master.

Living On Radio [Trans X]—-Not incredibly familiar with this band for some reason, I have only heard the off track here and there. They seem to be almost pre-goth in the sound…..the vocal a bit distorted and rather dark. None the less, the song is damn danceable and rather contagious.

No Parking [Dazz Band]—-The 80’s allowed for a huge influx of R n’ B on the dance floor as well. Picking up where Disco left off, this music transported across class and color lines to make indelible hits. This track has all the flavor necessary to keep it in rotation even today.

Dancing In Heaven [LaDouce]—-This is a re-make of the original track, but plays just as well. Another track that had a huge impact on the dance floor and across color lines this was just pure fun….a bona fide hit before falling into obscurity.

Walking In L.A. [Missing Persons]—-Powered by great guitar playing and the irresistible squeak of Dale Bozzio’s voice, Missing Persons managed 3 or 4 top ten hits before the band disintegrated. This speaks to the L.A. culture and the music movement that was going on there at the time. I never get tired of this track. Exquisite!!!

I Got It Made [Special Ed]—-The 80’s were a simple time when it came to rap music. Most songs were all about money and flow style. The gang/crack wars were years away. Special Ed gave us a comfortable beat followed up with understandable vocals and a slight story to go along with the entire thing. Oh….such a simpler time!

Oh Sheila [Ready For The World]—-Formed from a conglomeration of artists, this was music simply made to dance too. The groove is infectious and manages to still stay stuck in your head after all these years with just one simple listen. Long live perfect pop music!!!

Fascinated [Company B]—-With a hype beat right from the onset, this track has a dated but distinct sound. The female vocal reminds me of Expose or one of those other generic bands….this is fun and relaxed….a great track to dance to!!! And might I mention….an irresistible chorus!

The Promise [When In Rome]—-Hands down, my favorite song from the 1980’s decade. This song has a nice soft air to it that can make you sad if you need it or jubilant if that is the mood you are in. The vocal is a classic 80’s sounding voice and the sentiment is never aging. I consider this particular song a masterpiece!!!

I Go To Work [Kool Moe Dee]—-Another rapper who made his major impact in the mid 80’s, Moe Dee scored a nice smash with this entire lp. The vocal is a bit more street and hood, but the message is simple and you can feel the groove for hours after you listen to it.

 

**** out of 5

The Essential 80’s vol. 1-5

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , on 190000006-04:00 12 by marky7235

The 1980s saw the emergence of pop, dance music and New Wave. As the term disco fell out of fashion in the decade’s early years,[1] genres such as post-disco, Italo disco, Euro disco and dance-pop became more popular. Rock music continued to enjoy a wide audience; sub-genres such as New Wave,[2] soft rock,[3] and glam metal emerged and developed a significant following.[4] Adult contemporary,[5] quiet storm,[6] and smooth jazz gained popularity. The 1980s are commonly associated with the usage of synthesizers, thus, synthpop music and other electronic genres featuring non-traditional instruments exploded in popularity. Also during this decade, several major electronic genres were developed, including electro, techno, house, freestyle and Eurodance, rising in prominence during the 1990s and beyond. Throughout the decade, R&B, hip hop and urban music in general were becoming commonplace, particularly in the inner-city areas of large, metropolitan cities; rap was especially successful in the latter part of the decade,[7] with the advent of the golden age of hip hop. These urban genres, rap and hip hop particularly, would continue their rise in popularity through the 1990s and 2000s. A 2010 survey conducted by the digital broadcaster Music Choice, which polled over 11,000 participants, revealed that the 1980s is the most favored music decade of the last 50 years

Vol. 1 The Look Of Love [ABC]—-Forever suave and debonair in fancy suits and accompanied by horns, ABC left an indelible mark with this track. Full of slight movements, vocal blends and great percussion this remains one track from a fantastic release that will just not die.

The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades [Timbuk 3]—-What can I really say about this track….I hated it. Truly a one-hit wonder, this southern infused track got on my nerves and stayed there.

One Thing Leads To Another [The Fixx]—-Another band with a debonair look, Cy Curin was the master of cool with an unforgettable voice as well. With many of the songs relying on social issues, the band trudged through many releases and still tours on occasion. This is probably the biggest hit in the catalog….but by no means my favorite. Never gets old though!

Everyday Is Halloween [Ministry]—-This track from pre-Industrial Ministry is still a favorite of mine. It is amazing how a band can change in such a short time. Jorgensen still has that slight evil tone to his vocal, but this is classic dance all the way.

You Spin Me Round [Dead Or Alive]—-Full of Euro-Trash beats and tons of androgyny, this song was guaranteed to be a massive hit. The speed of the song is incredible and drove people to the dance floor around the world. There were more hits to follow, but nothing as massive as this track. It still sounds magnificent today!

Take Me Home Tonight [Eddie Money]—-Not really an essential 80’s track for me, I could take or leave Eddie Money. The song is much more of a straight up rock track without the familiar new wave flavor of many 80’s hits. It still lives on and Money always opens the outdoor music season in Detroit.

Naughty Naughty  [John Parr]—-Not really familiar with the title of this track, but the moment I heard it I felt right at home. Parr had a number of hits from popular teen movies, but managed to make an impact solo as well. The track has a nice rock/new wave mix to it that still works today!

What’s On Your Mind [Information Society]—-The epitome of a one hit wonder, this band, in all of their odd get-up costumes gave a whole new feel to electronic and synth music. Perhaps the band was meant to be visual…on record, the songs are just typical. Live, this band is killer!!!

Missing You [John Waite]—-This former lead vocalist for the 70’s band The Babys, Waite made a huge impact with his debut release and this lead-off single. The song provides a nice break from the constant swirl of 80’s synth and gives us a nice ballad to fall back on in those private moments. Waite has a killer voice and great stage persona.

I Ran [A Flock Of Seagulls]—-Taken from the playbook of MTV stars, this band had an odd look but also the chops to back it up. This contagious, spacy track was the first of many hits for the band before they imploded. The band has reformed from time to time…releasing a new CD about 5 years ago. The sound is the same and this track stands the test of time. Classic!!!

Sister Christian [Night Ranger]—-Reminding us that the 80’s decade was not all swirls and synths, Night Ranger put themselves on the map with this tear jerking ballad. It contains every element necessary…..great guitar….a sad sound and fantastic vocals.

The Roof Is On Fire [Rockmaster Scott & The Furious Three]—-The rap movement in the 80’s literally exploded….but was alive and well in the decade before. I’m not even sure this classic track was released in the 80’s but it still plays well today. The technology and realm of Rap has changed…but the basic formula remains. Flow and Hype!

I Want Candy [Bow Wow Wow]—-Sung by the 16-year-old mohawk Annabelle, this video made the song a bona fide hit all over the world. With classic 80’s sound and a bit of a punk attitude, the band was never able to follow the success of this track…but we have this forever to remember them by!

Tainted Love [Soft Cell]—-Perhaps one of the songs that literally defined the 80’s music movement, this song is still played everywhere and all ways. Remade and covered by dozens of people, no one can come close to the sound of Marc Almond’s distinct sound. This was and is a gay club staple….expect to hear it every time you venture out.

Lean On Me [Club Nouveau]—-Revamping this 60’s classic, Club Nouveau gave this track a whole new life. Filled with a slow, fun groove and a fun style I fell in love with this track from the first listen. The band managed to stick around for a bit, but fell into oblivion that is the 80’s. Still sounds great!

Desire [Gene Loves Jezebel]—-One of my favorite bands from across the pond, this band never received the US support that it deserved. These twin brothers managed a score of hits in Britain but were much more hit and miss here. This track is not an all time favorite, but still plays very well even today. The track has immense energy, a nice sexy feel and an unforgettable vocal.

Everybody’s Working For The Weekend [Loverboy]—-A classic working mans pop metal band, these guys toured endlessly to get the name known. A nice string of top ten hits kept them alive for quite sometime. This is a weekend song for sure…..reminds me of swimming, beer and girls. There you go….a perfect recipe!!!!

 

**** out of 5

 

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Michael Jackson / Blood On The Dancefloor : HIStory In The Mix

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 130000008-04:00 12 by marky7235

Blood on the Dance Floor: History in the Mix

Blood on the Dance Floor: HIStory in the Mix is a remix album by Michael Jackson. The album is made up of eight remixes from Jackson’s previous studio album HIStory, and five new songs. Jackson was heavily involved with the production of the new material while the remixes were produced by other artists. The new material dealt with themes such as drug addiction, women and paranoia.

The album received minimal promotion by Jackson’s standards, particularly in the US. Still, a film, two singles (“Blood on the Dance Floor” and “HIStory/Ghosts“) and three music videos were issued as promotion. Reviews at the time of release were largely mixed, some critics felt that Jackson had already explored these musical themes while others criticized what they perceived as weak vocals. Other critics were favorable, with praise issued for similarities to the music of Marilyn Manson and Trent Reznor.

Worldwide sales stand at six million copies as of 2009, making it the best selling remix album ever released. Several contemporary critics view the material in an increasingly favorable light and believe the album could have been more successful—commentators argue that certain sections of the world took interest in tabloid stories about the singer’s personal life over his musical career.

The Analysis:

Blood On The Dancefloor—-Delivered with the expected funk and beat flavor, Jackson sounds a bit muted on this track. this almost sounds like a re-tread of many Janet songs that you have heard in the past. I’m not sure why the vocal is pushed so far to the back of the mix…..none the less…this is history and the song is pretty damn addictive!

Morphine—-Beginning with a low hum and some hi-fi sound effects, the song builds rather slowly but has all the elements of a classic Jackson track. This is rather telling…now that the future has taken place…although the song is upbeat…it still leaves me feeling a bit dark. Jackson delivers a pretty aggressive vocal for him….but mellows for the chorus. This is another of those remarkably addictive tracks!

Superfly Sister—-With familiar falsetto and a funkier back beat, this still falls a bit flat for me. This sounds rather forced and reminds me more of Prince than Michael. Not to say that this is a bad track, I just question the sincerity of it all.

Ghosts—-This has a long rather static introduction…when Jackson finally enters the fray he sounds breathless and pushed to the back of the instrumentation. This is less than inspiring for me…the machine beat is too mundane and predictable….leaving me a bit empty. this is ok, but this is by no means classic Jackson!

Is It Scary?—-Fulfilling the need for the quintessential Jackson ballad, this is the filler that is required on any Jackson release. The track….has a rather damn catchy melody….and the sentiment seems real….this is a standout track for me….simply for the swelling of the music and the emotional quality of it all.

Scream Louder [Flyte Tyme Remix]—-Beginning rather sedate, but coming alive within the first bar…there is a funk delivery to this that is priceless. Jackson is so vocally aggressive…recorded with his sister during his angry period, the remix keeps that emotion well in tact. This is huge, overblown but true to the original. I like this!

Money [Fire Island Radio Edit]—-With a nice rap intro, this is refreshing to hear….how did I miss the original version of this song? This is fresh, filled with a great 90’s style dance floor beat and a melody that is irresistible. I love the interludes of spoken/rap vocal. This is fantastic!

2 Bad [Remix]—-This is ok….not quite what i expected from the onset. I love the Chic style guitars and the Wyclef influence. This is nice…but this is not what you expect. I love the aggressive vocal…once again…this is full of anger. When the Refugee Camp joins in on the song. it gives it a whole new sound…I like this!

Stranger In Moscow [Tee’s In-House Remix]—-This is dance floor ready from the very first strain of the song. Jackson is almost his old self with his vocal on this track and the HUGE electronic backdrop is incredible. This is fantastic….the breaks are fantastic and the vocal goes back and forth…from shouting to a slight croon….sucking me right into the heart of the remix! Fantastic…..

This Time Around [Remix]—-Another track that is instantly dance floor ready, this has the classic elements of dance remixes…lots of loops and a fantastic bass back beat. I love this. The vocal is fantastic and the dance oriented organ that runs through the song is classic remix elements. One of my favorites on here.

Earth Song [Hani’s Club Experience]—-This has a nice deep Ambient sound that rather appeals to me…it’s been quite sometime since i have listened to straight up Dance Music…I’ve been caught up in the whole black Metal thing…it is nice to know that it still appeals to me. This is remarkable…the emotion that is delivered from the music alone os outstanding. I really like this….it goes on a bit too long…but what remix doesn’t?

You Are Not Alone [Remix]—-although this remix contains many of the elements of the original track, this is a tremendous re-working of this song. Not nearly sedate as the original, this takes the track to a whole new level…almost filling me with a danceable joy that I had forgotten I had., This is fantastic…I prefer this version over the more sedate original….wonderful!!!

History [Tony Moran’s History Lesson Remix]—-This is fun….right from the onset. The danceable beat is so addictive….the sounds…all the little blips and beeps are incredible. This goes on forever…but is still remarkably fun. I love the loop that builds and builds…leavin my brain in a frenzy……this is a great end to a classic release…reminding me why I loved the 90’s!!!

****1/2 out of 5

 

 

The Human League / Credo

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 200000007-04:00 12 by marky7235

Credo

Credo is the ninth studio album by The Human League. It is their first studio album since Secrets in 2001.[1] It has been produced by fellow Sheffield act I Monster[2] and is released on Wall of Sound.

The first single from the album, “Night People” was released on 22 November 2010. Follow up single “Never Let Me Go” was released on 1 March 2011. “Egomaniac” was the second single in Germany, Austria and Switzerland because The Human League secured a slot on a major German TV show for a performance of ‘Egomaniac’. The TV programme aired on Friday 4 March and the single was released the same day. In those three territories the album itself was released on Friday 11 March in order to narrow the gap between the TV airing and the album being available. In the rest of the EU the album was released on Monday 21 March in order to narrow the gap between the release in Germany, Austria and Switzerland and the rest of the continent. The third single, “Sky” was released on 25 July 2011.

Credo was digitally released in the United States on August 16, 2011, with a physical release one week later.

The Analysis:

Never Let Me Go—-It is hard to believe that it has been 10 years since the release of Secrets, but from the opening strains of this first track, it seems now like yesterday! The synth lines are so damn familiar and comforting….Phil sounds ageless and the girls add their trademark vocals like they have never lived 30 years since we first heard them. This has a fantastic melody!!!! Simply wonderful!!

Sky—-This second single from the release, is yet another synth heavy but familiar sounding track that transports you back in time effortlessly. Oakey sounds so incredible with his deep baritone…the overdubs are fantastic and the ladies quip in here and there making it yet another classic track in an endless career of pure pop pleasure!!!

Into The Night—-This is brilliant…layered with nice synth lines that play over each other wonderfully well, but the song seems a bit empty to me…..lacking a true inspiration…..none the less, this is the League and the track is all you need it to be.

Egomaniac—-My favorite track on this release, this reminds me of all the best tracks from all the best releases. This is wonderfully produced…full of a deeper synth line and an energy that makes me want to dance for days. The underlying blips and beeps that are included makes this even more classic…a true return to form!!!

Single Minded—-Another of those tracks that seems more filler than inspiration, this is still delivered with fantastic instrumentation and allowing Oakey to sing in his higher tone which has always really made me smile! This is wonderful!!!

Privilege—-Deep and stripped almost bare, this has an almost mysterious and down trodden feel to the whole damn. The lyrics are fantastic and the overdubs of Oakey’s vocals are outstanding!!! A classic, different but wonderful track!

Breaking The Chains—-This begins a bit slow…making me wonder where this track was going…but once the chorus smacks you in the face, you will have a smile. this is infectious and full of pop hooks running through the whole song…this is brilliant!

When The Stars Start To Shine—-This has a marching vibe to this song….a bit of a muted vocal and a most infectious melody. Combine these together and you have yet another classic League track….I love the chanted chorus…..making you remember it for days after you hear it the first time…..this is magic!

Get Together—-A brilliant synth line begins this track and allows the entrance of Oakey and his melodic baritone. This is wonderfully brilliant…the girls add to the chorus and allows this track to become huge during the main chorus…this is brilliant!!!

Night People—-Although this lead off single never charted here in the States, I’m convinced it is brilliant none the less. This song moves!!! The synth line is delivered fast and at a frenzied pace…..with a contagious synth line that takes you back in time. The straight ‘clean’ vocal is so infectious. This is brilliant!!!

****1/2 out of 5

Madonna / MDNA

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 30000006-04:00 12 by marky7235

MDNA

MDNA is the twelfth studio album by American recording artist Madonna, first released on March 23, 2012 by Interscope Records. It is also Madonna’s first album not to be associated with Warner Bros. Records, the label she was signed to since 1982. As well as Madonna producing the album she worked with a variety of producers such as Alle Benassi, Benny Benassi, Demolition Crew, Free School, Michael Malih, Indiigo, William Orbit, Martin Solveig.

The album received generally positive reviews from music critics. Upon its release, it debuted at number one in many countries worldwide, including Australia, Canada, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. Madonna set a new record for the most number-one albums by a solo artist in Australia and the United Kingdom, but also achieved the largest second-week percentage sales drop for a number-one debuting album of the Nielsen SoundScan era in the United States.

The album’s lead single, “Give Me All Your Luvin’“, was released on February 3, 2012. The single became her 38th top-ten hit on the Billboard Hot 100, extending her record as the artist with most top-ten singles in that chart’s history. The second single “Girl Gone Wild” was released digitally on March 2, 2012. Prior to the album’s release, Madonna performed at the Super Bowl XLVI Halftime Show on February 4, 2012. The album is promoted by her MDNA Tour.

The Analysis:

Girl Gone Wild—-You have to love the intro to this track…..it all hearkens back to the glory days of the original master! The beats on this track are classic…the slow ebb and the heavy bass…the magical way it ebbs and flows…with the slight french influence. this is a classic Madonna track….it will remain one of my favorites for quite sometime….her voice sounds as youthful and as full of energy as it ever has…and it just proves she still has her finger on the pulse of modern dance music!

Gang Bang—-Only Madge could get away with a song title such as this!!! The track begins with an almost apocalyptic feel……Madonna delivers a vocal that is pushed far to the back of the mix filled with lots of echo…nice production!!!! The track is not as necessarily catchy life the previous…but it is still genius…..showing again the genius of the artist…this is not a favorite…but not a throwaway by any means either!

I’m Addicted—-Full of a deeper house sound and lots of erratic keyboards, it still allows the vocal to really be in the front of the mix. This is another throwback classic track….the fans would expect nothing less. The way the song builds and builds and then ebbs is so reminiscent of 90’s classic by the First lady….the song..to me, shows relevance and a continued drive…I love this!

Turn Up The Radio—-It has been a long time it seems since i have such a pure vocal from Madonna…..this is brilliant and perhaps my favorite track on this release…..the voice is left pure and alone and never, ever falters…still carrying the slight child like voice that made her famous to begin with. The instrumentation is high energy and full of effects, but it is simply the voice that carries this song…this is damn near brilliant!!!!

Give Me All Your Luvvin’—-I must say it…..I don’t understand this track…I don’t like this track….but every release has one of those. I only listen to it for MIA!!!!

Some Girls—-Returning to more modern and almost Dub oriented sound, this is another favorite track of mine…if only for the DEEP sound of energy. I love the way the song magically switches….between a deep experimental sound to a more conventional ‘clean vocal’ and then back to a robotic distorted sound. This is energetic and hypnotic….I’m sure the clubs are thumpin’ this track…as it should be….a magical fun track!

Superstar—-I am wonderfully enamored with this track…it reminds me of the classic and glory days of Madge and convinces me that she is still dedicated to her craft. This is energetic…full of classic Madonna sentiments and phrases…a cleaner vocal and a damn catchy chorus that will live in your brain for weeks at a time. This is brilliance…I love this return to form!!!! Wonderful!!!

I Don’t Give A—-This is just a FUN track…reminding me of the classic stuff Madge did with Jellybean…..the beats and breaks are SHARP and there is a noise involved that I find ver attractive. This is brilliant…the delivery is rapid fire…the melody is catchy as hell and I want to sing it over and over in my brain all day. This is wonderful…fantastic and damn near brilliant. And Nicki….is pretty brilliant!

I’m A Sinner—-Another track that surprised me…simply because of the unadulterated vocal that Madge delivers. The voice is amazingly pure as it was at the beginning….she sounds 20…is it possible Madonna is 50!!!!???? The music hearkens back a few releases ago…but it works with the whole flow of the CD….thank God for great production…this is a masterpiece…catchy as hell!!!!

Love Spent—- Odd from the very onset…it is exciting at the same time. The track quickly looses the oddity and becomes a rather generic track….kind of surprised me….not really a favorite track…I would have preferred something more deep and intense at this point…but it is as it is!

Masterpiece—-Allowing a bit of a respite, this is a much-needed and thirsted for track…the sound is deep intense and sad…reminding us how much the woman has been through in the past few years. This is a beautiful and wonderfully revealing track…..just what I needed…..the hurt of love betrayed…..

Falling Free—-rounding out the release with a rather magnificent orchestrated track, Madonna delivers a vocal full of pain and real betrayal. I sit back and listen….and examine the word FREE which is repeated over and over through the song…..reminding me that despite fame and fortune…..free is the same to me as it is to her. hurt is universal…..interesting!

****1/2 out of 5

Duran Duran / All You Need Is Now

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 260000001-04:00 12 by marky7235

All You Need Is NowAll You Need Is Now is the thirteenth studio album by the British pop/rock band Duran Duran. Produced by Grammy Award-winner Mark Ronson, a truncated version of the album was released as a download on 21 December 2010. It is the band’s first album not released by a major record label; it appeared on the band’s own label, Tapemodern, and Mark Ronson’s Allido Records in the UK. A physical package was released on March 21, 2011 in Europe on the Tape Modern label (distributed by Edel[1]), and on March 22, 2011 in the USA and Canada on S-Curve Records (distributed by Universal),[2] coinciding with the 30th anniversary of the band’s first release. According to Hits Daily Double, the physical release moved 14,642 units in its opening week. [1] Duran Duran are currently promoting the album through the All You Need Is Now Tour.

The Analysis:

All You Need Is Now—-Taking a huge step back into the classic days of the 80’s……peppered with the brilliant production of Ronson and bolstered by Simon Le Bon sounding better than he has in years, the kick off to this release is simply brilliant. I smile every single time i hear this…it is both retro and a step ahead in the new direction of music….simply fantastic!

Blame The Machines—-This begins with a huge retro beat that takes you back to the glory days of this band…do any of you remember when Duran Duran was the biggest band in the world? This is the sound that propelled them to that status…this is reminiscent of that great sound. The vocal overlays are fantastic and the updated technology allows them to sound even more important….this is great!!!

Being Followed—-Carrying a much more typical Ronson sound at the onset of the song, this track quickly falls back into the sound of a OO7 track with an edge that makes you think of an action film. the classic Duran sounding guitar finally emerges and you realize that this band has never gone anywhere. the Ronson touch gives to track a bit of an Euro-Trash sound that makes me smile!!!

Leave A Light On—-Duran Duran was always masterful at delivering a heartfelt ballad in the mix of all the electro driven sound of the 80’s….this song is no exception…it falls perfectly in the ballad catalog. Le Bon delivers a vocal that is a bit deeper and more sedate…but the emotion magically comes through in his voice…this is classic!

Safe [In The Heat Of The Moment]—-This track seems to borrow bits and pieces from every Duran song that managed to crack the top ten and adds a bit more with the Ronson tweak. Le Bon still delivers a vocal that belies his age, and the slight funk of the band is in full swing with the backdrop of female vocalist…..giving the song a nice lift. This is great!

Girl Panic!—-Again, the band returns to the sound of it’s very first LP with what seems like little effort. The guitar is in full swing…Duran always had a very particular guitar sound and it never seems to have left…just got lost for a bit. this is old school 80’s New Wave with the new Ronson touch…why was this not huge? Oh, I forgot….duran is not cool anymore…I still love it!

A Diamond In The Mind—-Much darker from the onset, Ronson seems to add layers and layers on instrumentation to the song…picking a few snippets from the intro track…this is a brilliant interlude…I am floored with this built-in remix!

The Man Who Stole A Leopard—-Slow to begin with, the song never really goes to far for me. This is too soon for another predictable and somewhat boring ballad…there is too much of a morose sound to the song…although there are some bright spots mired throughout…if you have the patience to sit through it.

Other People’s Lives—-Wow…..the onset of the track reminds me of DEVO!!!! As soon as Simon opens his mouth and the familiar Taylor guitar sound begins to surface, you are transported right back to 1983. This is a really cool updated retro sound for this band….I am not disappointed with this…in fact I love it!

Mediterranea—-Another slowed tempo track that is a surprise to me…this soon. But the saving grace are the layers of sound that allow this to remind me of classic Duran Ballads once again….Le Bon sings in that upper strained register of his…reminding me that he is still the King Of Drama…..this is full of drama, and memories…this should have been the sequel to the very first record!

Too Bad You’re So Beautiful—-Once more, the magic direction of Ronson seems like a permission slip for Duran to step way back in time and take us on another retro trip. this is fantastic…reminding me of Rio and Girls On Film at the same time…this has an overt sexual overtone and a magical classic return trip to a decade that is looked upon with scorn….this is brilliant!

Runaway Runaway—-This track is rather generic for me…although the classic guitar sound really shines through the mix of the song and Simon sounds rather fantastic. The track just lacks a substance for me…otherwise it is pretty …well…..Duran Duran……LOL!

Return To Now—-Just Brilliant….this orchestrated version of All You Need Is now is even more emotive with instrumentation and no vocals…a fantastic interlude!!!!

Before The Rain—-Ending this release with another ballad, Simon sounds forlorn and sad and full of emotion…perhaps telling a story of the past decade to us out loud. This is sedate and without pretension…this is heartfelt and touching……a fantastic way to end this release!

**** out of 5

 

Erasure / Tomorrow’s World

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 2600000010-04:00 12 by marky7235

Tomorrow's World

Tomorrow’s World is the fourteenth studio album by English synthpop duo Erasure. The album was released through Mute Records[2] on 3 October 2011 in the UK, and 11 October 2011 in North America.[3]

Tomorrow’s World was written in New York, London, and at Vince Clarke’s cabin studio in Maine, between January and June 2011, following Erasure’s short break, which found Andy Bell recording and releasing his second solo album Non-Stop, and Vince Clarke reuniting with former Yazoo partner Alison Moyet for the Reconnected tour. Clarke used his vintage collection of analog synths for the final touches. All songs are written by Bell and Clarke.[2]

The album was produced by Frankmusik and mixed by Rob Orton, who has previously remixed other well-known electronic artists such as Lady Gaga and Pet Shop Boys.

The first single from the album was “When I Start To (Break It All Down)”, which was released on 23 September 2011.[4] It received its first UK airplay on BBC Radio 2’s Ken Bruce show.

The Analysis:

Be With You—-Despite the time-lapse and the separate projects this duo are involved in, it is obvious from the first listen that this is a partnership that separation cannot separate. This is a lead off track that makes you feel comfortable and warm all over…as if the band has never been apart. Andy delivers vocals that are classic and the synth power of Clarke is in full form. This is a masterpiece of a track!

Fill Us With Fire—-Reminding me at the onset of a track that belonged on the Erasure release, the tempo magically changes when Bell open his mouth. this is driving and full of the classic dance.disco sounds that made this band HUGE. The sound is a bit more sedate and matches the lower register that Andy has taken on, but still manages to maintain the magic that this band has always had. this is perhaps one of the best Erasure releases in the past 10 years….very nice!!! And this will play live like magic!

You’ve Got To Save Me Right Now—-Vince Clarke has the magical ability to wrap his driving synth around the vocal of Andy Bell in a masterful way…much like he did with the blues driven vocal of Moyet. This is a surprisingly wonderful song….not one of my favorites. but it manages to break up the release with a fantastic differential that is always needed…..great production I think!

What Will I Say When You’re Gone?—-Another of those tracks that you wonder how this duo manages to create into a masterpiece so well…the synths are unique and all over the place while Bell delivers a rather sedate vocal…but when it comes together it is a landscape of emotions and energy. The bombast flows in and out…quiet at times and very loud at others…all the whole delivering a melody that sticks in your brain and refuses to leave you alone…yuet another masterful and unforgettable Erasure track!

A Whole Lotta Love Run Riot—-Kudos for the title of the song alone!!!! This is a building track that comes from the quiet and seems to get bigger and bigger…this is phenomenal and remains one of my favorite tracks on this release…if this does not remind you of the old days, there is something wrong with your memory. Bell has never sounded better and the driving synths from Clarke reminds you that he is true to his sound and vision and that it has never diminished from the Depeche days…..this is fantastic!

I Lose Myself—-This is another of those songs that seems to be built around the sometimes blues vocal tones that Bell manages to deliver ala Moyet. How funny for this band to even mention something about Rock N’ Roll……this is layered and full of deep house sounds that you have not heard from this band in quite sometime…a true return to form, it is nice to know that despite his status Bell has managed to keep his voice….I am still amazed that he tours the way he does…makes me feel a bit inadequate!!!

When I Start To [Break It All Down]—-From the very onset of this single, the lead off from this release, you know that this is a true return to fame. There is no doubt that this duo is very in tune with each other. Bell delivers a vocal that is as good as anything on chorus or other ensuing release. The falsetto is very much in tact as to where it was 10 or 15 years ago….this is magnificent and could not be a better lead off single!!!

Then I Go Twisting—-Once again, from the very onset, Clarke makes himself heard loud and clear. There may be talk of sickness of Techno…but the sound is very much alive and delivered with finesse. Andy says he does not want to let us down….and he does not! This is high energy that allows for both an emotional feel and a dance floor stomper that will play very well tomorrow or in 10 years from now…..a classic that I appreciate now…some might appreciate later!!! Tremendous!

Just When I Thought It Was Ending—-Ending this rather short release…clocking in at just 31 minutes, Bell delivers a more sedate a deeper tone to his voice. The emotive quality is pretty fantastic though…there are some fantastic overlays that make me smile…reminding me of some of the glory days. This will play so well live with the entourage of live singers that the band manages to carry with them…a nice cool down track, this is perfect!

**** out of 5 [For Length Only]

Madonna / Celebration [2 CD Retrospective]

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 270000006-04:00 12 by marky7235

Celebration

Celebration is the third greatest hits album by American recording artist Madonna, and the closing release under her contract with Warner Bros. Records, her record company since 1982.[1] The release follows her two previous greatest hits albums, The Immaculate Collection (1990) and GHV2 (2001).[2] The compilation was released in many different formats including a one-disc edition and a deluxe double disc. A compilation DVD, entitled Celebration: The Video Collection, was released to accompany the audio versions. The album includes three new tracks, the title track, “Revolver” (featuring Lil Wayne) and the bonus track on some editions “It’s So Cool”.

Celebration was appreciated by contemporary critics who noted the vastness of Madonna’s back-catalogue. The album debuted at the top of the charts in Belgium, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Mexico and the United Kingdom. Madonna became tied with Elvis Presley as the solo artist with the most number-one albums in the United Kingdom, though this tally also includes the soundtrack album Evita which features other artists. In the United States, it debuted in the top ten of the Billboard 200 at seven. In other nations, it debuted within the top ten. The title track was released as the first single of the album. It became Madonna’s fortieth number-one song on Billboard‘s dance chart. “Revolver” was released as the second single from the album, but failed to achieve commercial success.

Disc One:

Hung Up—-The collection begins with some of Madge’s later recordings and her most successful in years. Hung Up is a nice blend of both classic Madonna and dance floor fueled Eurotrash. The french production includes a bit of vocoder, swirling synths and a decadent bass line!!!

Music—-Continuing much in the same vein as the last track, this only convinced the public that Madonna had no intention of giving into age or the changing scene of the Music Industry. This was a ‘comeback’ so to speak, and she did it all rather very well. Again with the french production team and the added sounds of the evolving European Music Scene….this is not a favorite, but has become a classic!!!

Vogue—-Returning to and reminding us of the ‘second’ heyday of Madonna, this was a track that swept the entire globe with its contagious delivery and a fantastic video and dance to go along with it. Madonna still relied on the 80’s synth line of deep swirls and house sounds for this track…even now, it still sounds rather fresh after not listening to it for such a long time. Classic Madonna right here!!!

4 Minutes—-The pairing of two of the world’s biggest superstars was pure management genius and resulted in nothing less than a worldwide smash. With the personalities of both Timberlake and Madonna clashing over a huge Timbaland beat, how could you possibly fail? This is one for history…still plays incredible well and sounds like a huge Clash Of The Titans!!!

Holiday—-Jumping back to the very early Madonna days when she was a quasi-club kid hanging on every bit of advice given to her by Warhol and his entourage, this only served to let the world know that this Detroit girl was going to be a huge star. With classic 80’s beats and a swirling synth line that betrays the time, this was so popular in the gay clubs all over the world…we know stardom when we see it!!!

Everybody—-Another song that betrays the time of the recording, this slight Electro sounding track is still fresh despite the aged beats. Madonna urges us all to join her on the floor and lose control…with the bass synth, it is rather easy to do so. Still sounds rather remarkable.

Like A Virgin—-Like GaGa after her and bowie before her, Madonna is a master at marketing and making a gimmick to promote her music. This classic track is no exception. Using MTV as a pedestal, Madonna produced a video that propelled her to even greater heights. This has never been one of my favorite songs….perhaps I heard it just a bit too much…none the less, this is the quintessential classic dance track!!!

Into The Groove—-This is a bit dated as well, but one of those early songs when I realized that perhaps this girl was here to stay. The vocal is so much better than the earlier things she had done and we hear the first production of that deeper tone of hers that I like so much. This is classic 80’s pop…but still sounds remarkable and makes me want to dance even now!!!

Like A Prayer—-Fueled by a religious overtone and a video that made it overt, this still remains one of my favorite madonna tracks she has managed to produce. the sentiment was so real for me as I struggled with both my sexuality and my religion. It stands the test of time incredibly well and she was triumphantly successful with this. This only helped make her an even bigger superstar!!!

Ray Of Light—-The title track to my favorite Madonna record thus far released, this was a HUGE hit…and not even the best song on the CD. The increasing beat and the Euro-sound makes the track ultra contagious. the remixes for this song are breathtaking and the vocal, in my opinion, is one of the best of her career. A huge hit out of the ballpark and down the street!!! This is brilliance!!!

Sorry—-Another of those tracks that really dug into my brain cells and decided to live there for years, this has so much of the fancy French production that you just knew when you first heard it that it would be huge. madonna has made few musical missteps in her career…she knows what sounds good and what will sell well. She obviously was right again with this one…still love this track!!!

Express Yourself—-This really fell flat for me when it was released. This is still very low on my list of Madonna classics…just never really found a place for me in her catalog. I much prefer the Gaga ‘remake’…..LOL!!!

Open Your Heart—-Led by another marketing coupe with a cute video, Madonna captured the masses with this track. This is another track of hers that really features that deeper tone of her voice that almost makes me feel euphoric…I love it when she sings in that tone. Despite the dated 80’s sound, this is an incredible track with a huge great message!!!

Borderline—-Another 80’s track that manages to play well without seeming to dated, it is the opening strains of the song that really get me. The introduction of the song takes me back to that carefree and joyous time in my life when I had not yet discovered the burden of responsibility. For a song to make you still smile after all of these years is an accomplishment….because music matters!!!

Secret—-Acoustic in nature and featuring that contra-alto vocal that works so well for madonna, this is another very favorite track of mine. This is moody, rather dark and exquisite with deep synth lines and emotion. This is fantastic…I may have to listen to this twice!!!

Erotica—-Featured as a new track on the first Hits collection, Madonna further cemented herself in the hearts of popular culture even more. This is sexy, dirty and quite damn wonderful!!! With familiar 90’s synth lines that were everywhere at the time, Madonna made them her own by her overt sexually suggestive lyrics and breathy voice. This was a triumph and carries a whole other set of memories…this is classic!!!!

Justify My Love—-Also offered as a new track on The Immaculate Collection, this was a WORLDWIDE SMASH….and is still in my top 5 Madonna tracks. I have about every remix of this song you can find anywhere. This is sexual, seductive and at times pretty dirty…but also expressive and full of longing. This is Madge at her best!!!

Revolver [featuring Lil’ Wayne]—-Offered as a new track on this massive collection, Madonna joins forces with the hottest star of the current time to rather mediocre results. For me, this track never really got off the ground….as a matter of fact, I rather dislike this song….it is replayed current music and sounds way to much like a lackluster Britney track.

Disc Two:

Dress You Up—-Another of those early tracks that Madonna used to further her career at the expense of MTV and the annual video awards. No one can deny the brilliance of the woman when it comes to marketing and promoting herself with outrageous behavior and costumes. This sounds a bit dated, but again brings out that deeper tone of her voice I love so much. Rather nice!

Material Girl—-Perhaps the one song that is identified as making this woman a household name, the video and the ensuing live performances proved to the world that Madonna was here to stay. This is still jaunty and exciting…as I listen back on it now, it seems hard to imagine her singing this with much gusto now, but why abandon a shining star….this still shines!!!

La Isla Bonita—-Another very favorite track of mine, this song found an instant place on my playlist simply because it was so different from anything she had produced up to that moment. the tone of voice, the tropical music and the gentle breeze that flows through the song…is still fresh and magical to me. A pure triumph!!!

Papa Don’t Preach—-with a brilliant video, some rather emotional live performances and a rather sedate track for the Queen Of Pop, this is another track that remains on my playlist to this day. I never get tired of the emotional quality of the voice….the message of the lyrics and the undeniable contagion of the synth line. Masterful!!!

Lucky Star—-A track that catches Madonna at her earliest and trashiest. This still reminds me of the later Warhol days and his proclaiming that this youngster was going to be a huge star…when Andy spoke, people listened. This is far to bubble gum for my taste, but it is still hard not to sing along….

Burning Up—-Reminding me of a long-lost Human League track from the onset, this falls a bit flat for me. this sounds rather dated and less than stellar as I listen back on it now. This lacks a certain energy that the Queen always produced in her songs…oh well, you still can’t argue with brilliance can you?

Crazy For You—-Still in my top 10 favorite Madonna tracks, this ballad shows the force and talent of Madonna at her finest. This is heartfelt, emotional and can produce a lonely feeling even after all of these years. This only proved to the wold that this girl could really sing…just a stellar track!!!

Who’s That Girl—-The title track to this filed Motion Picture, the song fared about as well as the movie. this should not be on this release….was this a hit????

Frozen—-also taken from Ray Of Light, this is still one of my very favorite tracks ever produced by Madonna. This is so emotive, full of intensity and has the ability to make me incredibly sad if I catch it at the right moment. This is brilliant in production…there seems to be layers and layers to the music on the song. And the vocal is stellar….taking me to a place I don’t visit often!!!

Miles Away—-This was refreshing to me the first time I ever heard it. It has a unique sound…the French Euro beats combined with a slight acoustic guitar is rather genius. The lyrics are real and relateable…and madonna sounds fantastic…the vocal over lays are incredible…another track I really enjoy hearing from time to time!!!

Take A Bow—-I think, these days, Madonna is at her best when she involves herself in these more heartfelt ballads. this reminds me so much of classic Carpenters….yes, I said it!!! This is exquisite…full of heart ending lyrics, deep emotion and a sadness that makes you wonder what inspired this track. This is genius!

Live To Tell—-Without a doubt, my favorite #1 Madonna track and video….the live versions of this song are rather heart wrenching for me. This is real as real gets…Madonna had a worldwide smash with this track…delivered it in person like no one could imagine and made a lasting impression on millions of people the world over. This is still fresh, new and wrenching…..never forget!

Beautiful Stranger—-This begins with a rather joyous refrain…..full of typical Madonna musings…but the slight Electro feel to the song allows it from becoming anything but ordinary. Madonna is laid heavily on top of the vocal…full of a powerful vibrato that makes me smile and ponder again what inspired this track. This is stellar!!!

Hollywood—-Another of those songs that fell way under the radar for me in the career of Madonna. This has never really found a solid place for me in my favorites from the Queen. To me, this is lackluster and lacks a certain energy that I have come to expect from her. This is not bad, but just not a favorite of mine.

Die Another Day—-What can be better than recording the title track for a 007 movie…..but this falls a bit flat as well. same as the movie did if I recollect correctly. This is too generic to really find a place for me…this is predictable and a retread of 30 other songs that Madonna pulled off otherwise well.

Don’t Tell Me—-This is fantastic, I love this track. the stop and start, the stutter and the missing beat here and there keeps your attention. The stripped down feel of the song allows Madonna to showcase her voice incredibly well. When the swirling synths arrive over the acoustic guitar, you are amazed still at the versatility of the woman who is Madonna!!!!

Cherish—-Ugh…..never liked this track, and it sounds no better to me now than it did then. this is way to bubble gum for me…..next…..

Celebration—-Another new offering released with this retrospective, this has a nice Pet Shop Boys deep house sound that runs through it. I love this track…Madonna continues after all of these years to prove that she is still a force and still relevant. There is little wrong with this track…as Madge prepares to once again enter the studio, she must feel pressure. Can she out-GaGa GaGa……let’s wait and see…..

**** 3/4 out of 5

 

 

Lady GaGa / Born This Way

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 230000005-04:00 12 by marky7235

Born This Way

Gaga’s second studio album and third major release Born This Way was released on May 23, 2011. She announced the title of the album during her acceptance speech for Video of the Year at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards.[87] Its arrival follows the release of its eponymous lead single on February 11, 2011.[88] The previous date for the single release of February 13, 2011, was tweeted by Gaga at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Day, 2011.[89] Described as “a marriage of electronic music with major […] metal or rock ‘n’ roll, pop, anthemic style melodies with really sledge-hammering dance beats”, Born This Way will be Gaga’s third release in three years.[90] She stated, “It came so quickly. I’ve been working on [the album] for months, and I feel very strongly that it’s finished right now. Some artists take years. I don’t. I write music every day.”[91] With two tracks already confirmed by Gaga—one she has been performing during The Monster Ball Tour,[92] she has referred to the album as “about what keeps us up at night and what makes us afraid.”[93] Likening Born This Way to “bad kids going to church” that are “having fun on a high level”,[94] Gaga characterized her new music as “something so much deeper than a wig or lipstick or a fucking meat dress” and upon hearing it, Akon remarked that she will take music to the “next level.”[95] On February 13, Gaga performed live for the first time her single “Born This Way“, released on February 11, on the 53rd Grammy Awards. She was carried by fashion models through the red carpet in a gigantic embryo-shaped incubator (called “The Vessel” by its designer, Hussein Chalayan[96]), from where she emerged onstage for her performance. The song debuted atop the Billboard Hot 100, being the 19th number-one debut and the 1,000th number-one single in the history of the charts.[97] On April 18, it was announced that Queen guitarist Brian May provides electric guitar for the track “Yoü and I”.[98]

Lending her vocals elsewhere, Gaga also paired with Elton John to record an original duet for the animated feature film Gnomeo & Juliet. The song, titled “Hello, Hello”, was released on February 11, 2011, without Gaga’s vocals. The duet version is only featured in the film.[99][100] She undertook her job as a fashion columnist for V, where she wrote about her creative process, her studying of the world of pop culture, and her ability to tune into the evolution of pop-culture meme.

The Analysis—-

Marry The Night—-Gaga begins the long-awaited journey in a rather sedate manner at the onset…delivering a vocal that is wonderfully sedate and emotive. The song quickly becomes a huge disco flavored romp that you almost expect and demand. Magically switching between incredible hype and seductive singing, you could never ask for more as an opener on this anticipated release!!!!

Born This Way—-Trying to approach this listen without all of the Madonna references echoing in my brain, I still find this track inspiring and uplifting. this is a new millennium anthem to every disenfranchised person that lives on this planet. This is energetic, effective and damn powerful…as GaGa urges us all to be as unaffected by scrutiny as she seems to be herself. A huge anthem for NOW!!!!

Government  Hooker—-Huge points from the onset for the title of the song itself…okay? Beginning with an Italian House style delivery in the music, this is another classic GaGa romp that is not likely to be played on the radio!!!! This is infectious and delivered with a bit more of an aggressive electronic sound…it is also catchy as hell thanks to the vocal delivery and the simple fact that it actually sounds different from most GaGa songs…..I love this!!!!

Judas—-I have spent considerable time with this song and video…trying to really get the message. GaGa meant for this to be a bit controversial…even releasing the single on Good Friday…..I have given up on the divine message…instead deciding that this is just a huge classic Lady styled dance track that will make me dance for ages to come. The video is magnificent, GaGa sounds divine and the message is for someone else to decide.

Americano—-Wow….fantastic! GaGa delivers the intro vocal in broadway style while the flamenco style guitar slowly awakens and the bass begins to kick. This is fantastic…..this woman never seems to disappoint…delivering a track that actually sounds fresh and different. I am wonderfully impressed and swept up in this track….making me think of classic scenes from Mamma Mia!

Hair—-Yes, this song is largely about hair….but even more about identity and the reasons we relate to ourselves. All delivered with a magical bass beat and a fantastic dance floor romp. GaGa sings in a deeper tone…it is magically refreshing and alive….I love how she manages to weave a message into almost every song…allowing me to believe that even though people might assume her superficial, she is deeper than all of us put together!!!

ShieBe—-Wonderful!!!! What can be better than GaGa and rough German? This is a huge dance romp that makes me hard at the very onset. The bass enters with the swirls of synth and makes you almost positive that this has SINGLE written all over it. This is another of those pure Madonna driven tribute tracks…..but it works wonderfully well. The voice is fantastic and the chorus is damn contagious…we will all be studying German very shortly!!!!

Bloody Mary—-Another track that from the onset has SINGLE all over it for me. I love the lazy style that GaGa delivers her vocal…and of course, like Madonna before her, this has strong religious overtones as well. This is magical…delivered with a ton of effects and a huge attitude…I can’t stop smiling. This is magical, wonderful and one of those tracks that will repeat forever in your head. Magnificent!!!

Bad Kids—-I will assume from the very onset that some people will assume this to be a negative song. I read something really different from the song…this is positive and is delivered in the view of others that perceive things in a false light. GaGa delivers a vocal that is just wonderful…it is devoid of effects and seems wonderfully ‘clean’. I love this song…another huge and bona-fide hit for the girl of the moment. Tremendous!!!!

Highway Unicorn—-Yet another bona fide smash with conceptual video written all over it, GaGa is back to a more processed vocal and a huge bass beat that will smack you upside the head. This is tremendous and will set the clubs on fire…there is just enough sexual innuendo involved yet a positive message that will sweep the nation. This may be the biggest track from this release…..I said it first!

Heavy Metal Lover—-This is not what I expected from the onset! I guess I expected some guitars and a bit of a rougher sound…this is smooth, magnificent and pure bona fide hot!!! GaGa again delivers a processed and distorted vocal that is set to so many swirling effects you almost dig the music more than the voice. this is fantastic…another huge favorite of mine….this is a pretty fantastic release!

Electric Chapel—-This is so Madonna flavored….but delivered with enough of a difference to still remain her own song. The bass is huge…the swirls of effects make me smile and the gentle vocal style only hints at the Lady’s abilities. I love this…but it is a little bit repetitive….still a pretty fantastic song!

You And I—-Delivered with a nice piano base that reminds you of a country flavored romp through Glam-wood, this is magnificent. This song was made for GaGa….delivered with lots of drama and fun while still sounding a bit serious and sedate. This also gives you a nice taste of her ability….is there nothing this lady can’t do….this might invade Nashville…..would that be a hoot or what? This is the major surprise of the entire release……

The Edge Of Glory—-Finalizing this release with a rather generic but still huge sounding track, GaGa still manages to leave me thirsty for more even after 14 tracks. this is a classic Kelly Clarkson sounding track that Lady manages to make her own…it is full of empowering vocals and a huge lyric that will play in your brain forever. This is wonderful…sad because it is the last…but hopeful…because this lady is only just getting started!!!!

***** out of 5 [!!!!!]