|Saturday, November 11, 2000||
Ellie Campbell — Ellie (HMV)
While Christina Anguilera and Britney Spears are busy competing for the number one position, the music industry gets a breath of fresh air in the form of Ellie Campbell. She possesses good mid-tone vocals which dip and soar as she likes. However the tracks remind you of Britney’s predictable pop hooks. She uses the tried and tested Britney formula to the background of So Many Ways and Don’t Want You Back. The lyrics give a fairly accurate account of what’s coming next. Ellie is an album written at the best of times with romance overflowing— ‘I hear your name and my heart beats faster. Boy, your love is what I’m after’, she sings on The Things You Do. The album is blessed with soaring, swerving melodies. The songs are dressed up with keyboards and digital beats to produce sterling effect — as with the number Never Gonna Give Up On Love. The album mixes the sweet, slick lovers-pop grooves of So Many Ways, The Things You Do and Just Another Rainy Day with the rootsy sounds of Suspicion, Forgive Me and My Heart Will Find No Home. Ellie’s vocals bridge the two styles with ease, the languid pop tones winking at both Christina and Britney.
The sheer gall of the self-proclaimed absolute dance album, including Smokie and even Modern Talking, takes some beating. Unlike your average compilation collection, this one is ambitious and full of surprises. Santana teams up with Rob Thomas (Matchbox 20) to give you a Smooth start on the dance floor. Then there is the hippy mover Where Did You Go (audicious enough to re-deploy the much desired syn drums). The remaining tracks might be remixes of chart favourites, but each of them pulls off a bold match of remixer to track. Chicane borrows Bryan Adam’s voice and breaks it into wobbly fragments of Don’t Give Up. And you just can’t get away from the infectious dance fillers like Boney M 2000’s Daddy Cool, Jennifer Lopez’s Waiting For Tonight, We’re Goin’ To Ibiza by Vengaboys, Ricky Martin’s Shake Your Bon Bon and Culture Beat’s Mr. Vain. An album that’s likely to be most sought after at this season’s parties.
Martina McBride —Emotion (BMG Crescendo)
Martina’s ability to sing with a powerful emotion is her winning point. On her fifth album, rightly titled Emotion, the CMA Top Female Vocalist remains in her true ‘Martina form’, with mesmerising vocals and gripping lyrics. I Love You from the Runaway Bride soundtrack has already experienced chart-topping success, both as a single and as a video. The song reminds us of McBride’s playful, more energetic side, while numbers like the dramatic stylings of From The Ashes and This Uncivil War keep with a chilling effect that some of her previous hits have offered.
A few groovier tunes to match the smooth and steady rhythm of I Love You, I Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere, Anything and Everything and Do What You Do. It’s My Time is an inspirational track set in slow arranged settings. Anything’s Better Than Feelin’ The Blues presents a nice twist of humour and misery. Love’s The Only House is full of twists and curves. The highlights of the album remain Make Me Believe and the soulful ballad There You Are which showcases Martina’s vocal power. Splendid piece of work indeed.
Disco Nights —Various Artists (BMG Crescendo)
There has been a smattering of dance music compilations re-leased recently. Now that rave is in the mainstream and techno has become just another word for teeny bop, the roots of the musical explosion ultimately responsible for making La Bouche, Real McCoy etc is not considered hip anymore, but who cares as long as the tracks still make for great dance boosters. As compilations go, this is a strong one, smoothly spanning the different sub-genres and retaining an evocative, sweaty night club feel. And there are some classics, including Cheri Cheri Lady by Modern Talking, Tic Tic Tac by Chilli featuring Cara-picho, Los Del Rio’s
Maca-rena, Be My Lover by La Bouche, Ma Baker by Boney M 2000, Fable by Robert Miles, Real McCoy’s Another Night and the surprise track Don’t Forget My Number by Milli Vanilli. All at full length, all, in the end, with much to dance for.
—Saurabh & Gaurav