samedi 29 août 2009

When the Adult entertainment leads to the US Dance Music Scene...

One of my first post here in 2006 was about Johnny Hazzard’s first (and only to date) single, Deeper into you. (click here for full flashback post). He was the first gay porn actor I knew of that tried to translate his music love into club recording success. But he wasn’t the first, nor the last. Other usually shirtless gorgeous men tried to crossover behind the mic, with more or less success. Recent news gave me the need to display some of them for you here.

First, let’s stay with our tattooed latin jock whose sensual Deeper into you has been remixed by Californian remixer Scott Anderson for a Solar City remix that is available for download via iTunes for example. His remix has electro-ified the initial hypnotic and given it more rhythm, perfect for the US dance Circuit.

Talking about Solar City makes me zap on the muscled sugar daddy-like dreamGod Colton Ford, whose videos are displayed on my MySpace profile page. In fact, real named Glenn Soukesian started his career in the music bizz, being nearly hired as lead vocalist on Frankie Knuckles’s second artist album in 1995 but being evicted by Virgin Records in favour of a black sounding and looking vocalist (Adeva) on Welcome To The Real World. He then quickly became a versatile pornstar to count on with several top studios’ hit videos before leaving the adult industry with boyfriend Blake Harper, another big US pornstar, being filmed in Naked Fame, a documentary by Christopher Long about his transition from porn to music. Solar City’s producer was in charge of the soundtrack, that featured divas Pepper Mashay, Erin Hamilton, Debby Holiday or Samantha Fox, and Colton worked with him for two singles. First was his solo effort Everything, a speeded up dance/house number where Colton’s sexy and soulful voice first got to our ears. But the real hit was the cover version of Stevie Wonder, Signed, sealed, delivered (I’m yours) he recorded as a duet with Pepper Mashay. Released on Centaur Music with remixers Al B.Rich, Mac Quayle & Ralphi Rosario, their raunchy club/house version was a Billboard Top ten hit in 2004.

He then worked with several producers but nothing was released and it’s a shame as there was top tunes sampled on his sofficial site with Hani or Hex Hector if I remember well… Instead, he turned to house producer Quentin Harris, with who he worked on his first album. Two of the songs they recorded for it were first released on Quentin Harris’ own 2006 album No politics. They were Gotta do and Love has found a way. Colton’s voice was very sultry all surrounded by delicate and warm quality but less commercial production. But they were only tasters for the real thing, Tug of war, released first digitally then physically the following year, and introduced by first single The way you love me. The single featured remixes by Craig C. or Richard Morel. Other singles followed, That’s me or Tug of war (My heart won’t let go), as well as a cover version of Alicia Keys’ No one, but none really cracked the mainstream charts, although Colton Ford had his success in the underground gay club scene for sure, being recognized for being a real talented performer. At the same time, he became a regular actor in the gay TV series The Lair for Here!
Now's the time for the big breakthrough though. His second album Under the covers is ready to be released next week and it should set the world on fire : Music sounds better with you, a cover of french house-makers Stardust, and Trouble, a Britney Spears song, have been digitally released first but now it is an electro/dance remake of the R.E.M. worldwide hit Losing my religion that is the official first single off a concept album that is, you could have guessed by its title, a collection of re-interpretations of songs Colton particularly cherishes. Included are Robyn's recent hit With every heartbeat, Robin S cult-song Show me love, and covers of Nirvana, Sade, Babyface, Fleetwood Mac or Faith No More. That sounds exciting and, just like its title suggests, I can't wait to get under the covers and discover what's in store...

But Colton’s not the only Ford ex-pornstar dance artist in the US. There is Fredrick ! Formerly a dancer in gay clubs, Fredrick Ford decided to get himself a name in porn (with Michael Lucas Entertainment I recall) before to try to get some success with his music releases. And he started with a bang in 2005 with a remake of George Michael’s Too funky which was supported by a gorgeous video clip and a bangin’ Giuseppe D production and remixes by Georgie Porgie, Friscia & Lamboy and Chris Brophy. He recorded a EP CD that can still be purchased via his site here on which he wrote or co-wrote and co-produced all other 6 tracks. A new single, Turn my world around (I found the one) he wrote with Georgie Porgie, followed with great success. A beautiful Giuseppe D ‘candlelight‘ acoustic ballad version was included with Mike Cruz, Josh Harris & TNT remixes as well as Georgie’s original mixes. Fredrick’s voice improved a lot on this one and with each new release he betters. Out of the dark in 2008, and now Life of the party in 2009, still with Georgie Porgie and Josh Harris amongst others, are top club tunes, made to make us sweat and dance all night shirtless. I really hope a full lenghth album release will soon see the light of day because his actual material is a lot more appealing than the first Dirty little secrets EP I bought on line (and like though!).

Then comes the latest porn-to-music star, cute ass Mediterranean charmer Dean Monroe. Successful for his bottom skills, he has recently released his first single Closer to you on iTunes (or physically via his site) and at nearly 5’ it’s a pure moment of bliss. Starting slowly, it soon increases the rhythm with what sounds like a Van Halen’s Jump sample loop and atmospherical layers of synthés surrounding his gentle & sensual voices on verses, before an anthemic chorus takes the lead. With this track, we’re more on the European dance music sound, electronic and 80’s inspired, when previous artists were full-on US dance performers. Closer to you is definitely a grower and the more you listen to it, the more it warms you up in a sonic embrace. Dean Monroe’s single sounds fresh and retro at the same time, and as he wrote and produced it by himself, I think I’m gonna follow what’s more to come.

I invite you to follow these men’s musical (and pornographical if that’s your tastes) work to check by yourself and if you know some more, tell me in the comments, except I don’t want to hear about Jeff Stryker’s country music efforts…

jeudi 27 août 2009

First there was Diane Warren, then there is Babyface...

When you talk about romantic ballads, the first songwriter that comes to my mind is Diane Warren, and I've posted a few months ago an extensive list of the songs she wrote. But then I think of Kenneth Edmonds, who everyone knows as "Babyface". Not only was he one of the most successful producer/writer in the 90's along his working mate Antonio 'L.A.' Reid (and Daryl Simmons), but they were heads of the LaFace Records that gave us TLC, Toni Braxton, Usher or P!nk too. The LaFace sound was a mix of New Jack Swing and Soul/Funk, close to the sound & success the other big US production partnership Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis was.
After they parted company, Babyface kept on working solo (or sometimes still with Daryl Simmons who created his own Silent Partner production company) with great success. Madonna or Michael Jackson have been on the mic for him and he was then successful with a guitar-led acoustic soul/pop sound.
But all along these times, he was a singer too, releasing some good soul/R&b albums from 1977 (in Brainchild) to 2009 where he is still a solo singer as well as songwriter/producer. His latest protegee is Kristinia DeBarge, first artist signed to his brand new label Soda Pop.

Here is a list of the songs I know (and own for the most part) the LaFace team wrote together or after their breakup.
Feel free to make additions in the comments. His latest years' output is less known by myself so surely I missed some !

1-900 G-man (how I say I love you) (Daryl Simmons / A Few Good Men) A Few Good Men
A bit old-fashioned (Babyface) Babyface
A girl like you (Babyface) Kevon Edmonds feat. Babyface
A good man (Daryl Simmons) A Few Good Men
A little romance (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Sid Johnson / Charles Muldrew Jr / Bruce Robinson) The Boys
A lovers holiday (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Daryl Simmons / Jermaine Jackson) Jermaine Jackson
A song for mama (Babyface) Boyz II Men
Ain't got no remedy (Babyface) Shanice
Ain't nothing wrong (Babyface / Damon Thomas / Harvey Mason Jr / Tony Dixon / Eric Dawkins) Houston
All day thinkin' (Babyface) Babyface
All I ask (Babyface / Kenny Loggins) Kenny Loggins
All I do (Babyface / Veda Nobles / Tyrone Scott / Rasheem Pugh / Dante Clark) 3rd Storee
All I think about is you (Babyface) Klymaxx
All in good time (Babyface) The whispers
All I've ever known (Babyface / Derek Edmonds) The Deele
All night long (Babyface) SWV
All the things I should have known (Babyface / Erika Nuri) K-Ci & Jojo Hailey
Always in my heart (Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Tevin Campbell
And I gave my love to you (Babyface / Sonja Marie) Sonja Marie
And I love you (Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Toni Braxton
And it's true (Babyface) 3rd Storee
And our feelings (Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Babyface
Angels (an angel came to me) (Babyface / Michael Jackson) Michael Jackson
Another sad love song (Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Toni Braxton
Another sad love song (Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Coco Lee
Anymore (L.A.Reid / Babyface) Whitney Houston
Baby baby baby (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Daryl Simmons) TLC
Baby come to me (Babyface / Damon Thomas / Kevon Edmonds / Johnnie Newt / Robert Newt) Kevon Edmonds
Baby I (Babyface / Darnell Bristol) Tenderoni
Baby's mama (Babyface / Damon Thomas / Calvin Broadus / The Megahertz Music Group) Babyface feat. Snoop Dogg
Backyard (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Salt) Pebbles
Basic instinct (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Daryl Simmons / Yao Chien) Sandy Lam
Be my girl (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Daryl Simmons)
Bedazzled (Babyface / Sidney Johnson / William Brewer / Rick Gaddis)
Bedtime (Babyface) Usher
Believer (Damian / Deah Dame) Damian Dame
Best of me (Babyface / Chrisette Michele Payne) Chrisette Michele
Best thing I never had (Babyface / Antonio Dixon / Beyoncé Knowles / Patrick Smith / Shea Taylor / Larry Griffin Jr / Caleb McCampbell) Beyoncé
Betcha never (Babyface) Vanessa Williams
Betcha never (Babyface) Joanna Marie
Betcha never (Babyface) Kirk Wahlum
Body talk (L.A.Reid / Babyface) The Deele
Boys and girls (Babyface / Raphael Saadiq / Laney Stewart / Tricky Stewart) Tony Toni Toné
Breathe again (Babyface) Toni Braxton
Breathe again (Babyface) Kirk Wahlum
Breathe again (Babyface)
Shanice (introduced by Babyface)
Breathe again (Babyface)
Marcia Hines
Broken-hearted girl (Babyface / Mikkel S. Eriksen / Tor Erik Hermansen / Beyoncé Knowles) Beyoncé
Can he love U like this (L.A.Reid / Daryl Simmons) After 7
Can I stay with you (Babyface) Karyn White
Can U dance (L.A.Reid / Carlos Greene / D.Mitchell) The Deele
Can we talk (Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Tevin Campbell
Can we talk (Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Code Red
Can we talk (Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Kirk Wahlum
Can we talk (Babyface / Daryl Simmons)
The Whispers
Can't get enough (Babyface / Johnathan Robinson) El De Barge
Can't help myself (Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Destiny's Child
Can't stop (L.A.Reid / Babyface) After 7
Can't stop my heart (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Babyface
Can't stop now (Babyface / Harvey Mason Jr / Damon Thomas) Babyface
Care for me (Babyface) Az Yet
Chivalry (Babyface / Sydney Johnson) Babyface
Church (Babyface) ??
Circumstantial evidence (L.A.Reid / Babyface) Shalamar
Come on (Babyface / Steve Hurley / Jane Wiedlin / Jane Kaplan / Adam Schlesinger / Kay Hanley / Dee Dee Gibson / David Gibbs / Harry Elfont / Jason Falkner) ??
Comin' for X-mas (Daryl Simmons) Usher
Computer love (Babyface / Greg Perry)
Condition of my heart (Babyface / Damon Thomas / Harvey Mason Jr / Brian McKnight) Justin Guarini
Could you learn to love (Babyface) Tevin Campbell
Count on me (Babyface / Whitney Houston / Michael Houston) Whitney Houston & CeCe Winans
Crazy 'bout cha (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Boaz Watson / Jeffrey Cooper / Carlos Greene)
Crazy 'bout you (Daryl Simmons) Vanessa Williams
Cried me a river (Babyface / Rob Walton / Kristinia Debarge) Kristinia DeBarge
Cryin' for it (Babyface) After 7
Dance with me (Babyface) Tony Thompson
Days like this (L.A.Reid / Babyface) Sheena Easton
Dear lie (Babyface / Tionne Watkins) TLC
Dial my heart (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Daryl Simmons) The Boys
Diggin' on you (Babyface) TLC
Disconnect (Babyface / Rob Walton) Kristinia DeBarge
Do me (Daryl Simmons) Positive Express
Do you love me (Babyface / Michael Jackson) Michael Jackson
Do you want to (Daryl Simmons) Xscape
Doesn't everybody want to fall in love (Babyface / Daryl Simmons / Rob Walton) Kristinia DeBarge
Don't be cruel (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Bobby Brown
Don't break my heart (Daryl Simmons) Shanice
Don't cha think (Daryl Simmons / Kayo / Don Parks) After 7
Don't keep me waiting (Babyface) The Whispers
Don't love a stranger (Babyface / Madonna) Madonna
Don't mess with me (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Karyn White
Don't remind me (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Damian Dame
Don't take it so personal (Babyface / Antony Nance / Brion James / Erika Nuri) Babyface
Don't wanna love you (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Shanice
Don't wear it out (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Darnell Bristol) Mary Davis
Don't you deserve someone (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Jermaine Jackson
Down for life (Babyface) K-Ci & Jojo Hailey
Drama, love & 'lationships (Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Babyface
Dreamin' (Babyface) Shanice
Dry your eyes (Babyface / Daryl Simmons / Darnell Bristol) The Deele
Dry your eyes (Babyface / Jon-John Robinson / Joey Elias) 3rd Storee
Easin' by (L.A.Reid / Babyface / James Vinen / Dalmore Sutherland)
End of the road (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Boyz II Men
End of the road (Babyface / L.A.Reid / Daryl Simmons) Babyface
End of the road (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Gladys Knight
Every little bit of my heart (Babyface / Keith Andes / Bryce Wilson / Marc Nelson) Az Yet
Every little step (L.A.Reid / Babyface) Bobby Brown
Everytime I close my eyes (Babyface) Babyface feat. Mariah Carey feat. Kenny G
Everytime I close my eyes [quelqu'un comme toi] (Babyface / Liane Foly) Liane Foly
Everywhere I go (Babyface / Ernest Dixon) Katharine McPhee
Exclusivity (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Damian) Damian Dame
Exhale (shoop shoop) (Babyface) Whitney Houston
Exhale (shoop shoop) (Babyface) Babyface feat. Beverley Crowder
Exhale (shoop shoop) (Babyface) Kirk Wahlum
Exhale (shoop shoop) (Babyface)
The Whispers
Exhale (shoop shoop) (Babyface) Myriel Robinson
Eyes of a stranger (L.A.Reid / Babyface) The Deele
Fairweather friend (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Johnny Gill
Fairy tale (Babyface / Tommy Sims / Marc Harris) Toni Braxton
Faithfull (Babyface / Sydney Johnson) Babyface
Fall for you (Babyface) Shanice
Family man (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Karyn White
Feels so much better (Babyface) Johnny Gill
Few good men (Babyface) ??
Find me a man (Babyface) Toni Braxton
Fly away (Babyface / Laney Stewart / Gloria Stewart / Phillip White) Shanice
Follow my rainbow (Babyface) Sheena Easton
Fool in love (Babyface / Gregory Scalsa) ??
For sentimental reasons (Babyface) Babyface
For the cool in you (Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Babyface
For the cool in you (Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Kirk Wahlum
For the cool in you (Babyface / Daryl Simmons)
The Whispers
Forbidden love (Babyface / Madonna) Madonna
Forever (Babyface) Boyz II Men
Forever (Babyface / Madonna) Madonna
Funky situation (Babyface) Manchild feat. Babyface
G.S.T. (L.A.Reid / Daryl Simmons / Kayo / Toby Rivers) After 7
Gimme some (Babyface / Toni Braxton / Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes / Jazze Pha) Toni Braxton
Girl in the life magazine (Babyface) Boyz II Men
Girlfriend (L.A.Reid / Babyface) Pebbles
Girlfriend (L.A.Reid / Babyface) Risquée
Girlfriend (L.A.Reid / Babyface) The Beautiful South
Girls gonna getcha (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Lawrence Goodman / Warren McGlone) ??
Give it to me (L.A.Reid / Babyface) Pebbles
Give U my heart (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Daryl Simmons / Bo Watson) Babyface feat. Toni Braxton
Given a chance (Babyface) Babyface
Giving you the benefit (L.A.Reid / Babyface) Pebbles
God must love you (Babyface) Babyface
Goin' outta business (Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Babyface
Good enough (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Bobby Brown
Good for the soul (Babyface / Al Green) Al Green
Good thang (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Daryl Simmons / Kayo / Pebbles) Pebbles
Good to be in love (Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Babyface
Got to get over you (Babyface) RPM 2000
Gotta learn my rhythm (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Damian Dame
Grown & Sexy (Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Babyface
Grown thangs (Babyface / Jon B / Luther Vandross) Luther Vandross
Hands up (Babyface / Daryl Simmons) TLC
Have I never (Babyface) A Few Good Men
Have you been loved (Daryl Simmons / Kayo) Mary Davis
Heart & soul (Babyface) Beverly
Heat of the moment (L.A.Reid / Babyface) After 7
Here comes the pain again (Babyface / Boaz Watson [uncredited]) Karyn White
Here he comes again (Babyface / Emanuel Officier / Ralph B.Stacy) K-Ci & Jojo Hailey
Him or me (Babyface / Damon Thomas / Anthony President / Dante Clark) 3rd Storee
Hip chick (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Daryl Simmons / Darnell Bristol / Les Collier) The Deele
Ho of my own (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Highland Place Mobsters
Hold me close (Babyface) Celine Dion
Honey (Babyface) Aretha Franklin
Hovi baby (Babyface / Shawn Carter) Jaÿ-Z
How can I not love you (Babyface / George Fenton / Robert Kraft) Joy Enriquez
How can U be down (Babyface) Babyface
How come, how long (Babyface / Stevie Wonder) Babyface & Stevie Wonder
How could an angel break my heart (Babyface / Toni Braxton) Toni Braxton
How could I ever live without you (Babyface) Beverly
How could you call her baby (Babyface) Shanna
How do you tell the one (Babyface) After 7
How many times (will you let him break your heart) (Babyface / Emanuel Officier / Jorge Corante) K-Ci & Jojo Hailey
How often (Babyface / Walter Afanasieff / Robin Thiecke) Kevon Edmonds
How will you know (Babyface / Damon Thomas / Harvey Mason Jr) Justin Guarini
Humpin' around (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Daryl Simmons / Bobby Brown / Stylz) Bobby Brown
I can't sleep baby (if I) (Babyface / R.Kelly) R.Kelly
I care 'bout you (Babyface) Milestone
I don't feel like crying (L.A.Reid / Babyface) Ada Dyer
I don't feel much like crying (L.A.Reid / Babyface) Randy Crawford
I don't want to be lonely (Babyface) Az Yet
I don't want to know (Babyface) Gladys Knight
I dream, I dream (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Jermaine Jackson
I get nervous (Daryl Simmons / Kayo) Mary Davis
I give you my love (Babyface) Boyz II Men
I hate you (Babyface / Damon Thomas / Harvey Mason Jr / Eric Dawkins / Tony Dixon) Toni Braxton
I just met heaven (Babyface) Kevon Edmonds
I keep callin' (Babyface / Antony Nance / Brion James / Heavy D) Babyface
I love my boo (Babyface) Choice feat. P!nk
I love U babe (Babyface) Babyface
I love you babe (Babyface) The Whispers
I miss you so much (Babyface / Daryl Simmons) TLC
I never knew it (Daryl Simmons) Paula Abdul
I promise (Babyface / Tanya E.White) Babyface
I promise to (Babyface / David Foster / Damian Fontana) Alysha Antonino
I said I love you (Babyface) Babyface
I said I love you (Babyface) Kirk Wahlum
I saw your face (Babyface / Damon Thomas / Harvey Mason Jr / Tony Dixon) Justin Guarini
I still love you (Babyface / Darnell Bristol / Sidney Johnson / Tony Tolbert / Darren Lighty / Robert Huggar / Raphael Brown / Arkeida Clowers) Next
I surrender (L.A.Reid / Babyface) The Deele
I wanna be (your baby) (Babyface / Daryl Simmons / Damon Thomas / Harvey Mason Jr) Toni Braxton
I wanna love like that (Babyface / Jon-John / Reggie Griffin) Tony Thompson
I want you (to be my playthang) (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Sidney Johnson / Montez Lomax / Stephen Page) Shalamar
I will be loving you (Daryl Simmons) Jesse Powell
I'd still say yes (Babyface / Joyce Irby) Klymaxx
I'd still say yes (Babyface / Joyce Irby) The Braxtons
If ever (Babyface) 3rd Storee
If I ever lose my woman (Daryl Simmons / Kenneth Lattimore) Kenny Lattimore
If I want to (Babyface / Jermaine Dupri / Usher Raymond / Bryan Michael Cox) Usher
If only in heaven's eyes (Babyface) 'N Sync
If we try (Babyface / Lynelle Edmonds / Anthony Lee Coates) Babyface
I'll always love you (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Babyface
I'll be the one (Daryl Simmons) Dru Hill
I'll be there (Babyface / El De Barge) El De Barge
I'll make love to you (Babyface) Boyz II Men
I'll make love to you (Babyface) Babyface
I'll make love to you (Babyface) Kirk Wahlum
I'll make love to you (Babyface) Pam Hall
I'll send you roses (Babyface / Connie Oates) The Deele
Illusions (Babyface) Babyface
I'm a survivor (Babyface / Pharrell Williams / Chad Hugo) Babyface feat. NERD
I'm ready (Babyface) Tevin Campbell
I'm your baby tonight (L.A.Reid / Babyface) Whitney Houston
I'm your natural woman (Daryl Simmons) Deborah Cox
In my arms again (Babyface) ??
In my bed (Daryl Simmons / Stanley Brown / Ralph Stacey) Dru Hill
In my life (Babyface) TLC
In the late of night (Babyface / Johnathan Buck) Toni Braxton
In the mood (Babyface / Daryl Simmons) The Whispers
In the morning (Daryl Simmons) Aretha Franklin
It hurts like hell (Babyface) Aretha Franklin
It may be the water (Daryl Simmons / Lionel Richie) Lionel Richie
It's gotta be love (Babyface / Kristinia Debarge / B.Ervin / S.Ettinger / D.Pierce / D.Simon / J.Smith) Kristinia DeBarge
It's no crime (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Babyface
It's not right (Babyface) ??
It's over now (Babyface) Danny Boy
Jealous (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Kayo / Darnell Bristol / Charles McCampbell) Mac Band feat. McCampbell Brothers
Just for a day (Babyface / Mikelyn Roderick) Rahsaan Patterson
Just for a day (Babyface / Mikelyn Roderick) The Winans
Just friends (Babyface) Vanessa Williams
Just hold on (Babyface) Boyz II Men
Just my luck (Babyface) The Deele
Just my luck (Babyface) Alyson Williams
Just don't have a clue (Babyface / Jaheim Hoagland / Ron Feemster / Cliff Lighty / Ronnie Walton) Jaheim
Just stand up (Babyface / Ronnie Walton) Just Stand Up! Collective
Keep it right there (Babyface / Jon-John / C.Liscomb) Diana Ross
Kissing you (Babyface) Faith Evans
Knocked out (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Paula Abdul
Lady, lady (Babyface) Babyface
Last night (Babyface / Keith Andes) Az Yet
Last song (Babyface) Deliverance
Lately (Babyface / Jon B / Durell Babbs / Ainsoworth Prasadi / Obi Nwobosi) Jon B
Let go (Daryl Simmons) Jesse Powell
Let it flow (Babyface) Toni Braxton
Let me be the one (Babyface) De De O'Neal
Let no one seperate us (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Darnell Bristol) The Deele
Let's be romantic (Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Babyface
Let's celebrate (Babyface / Boaz Watson / Reginald Calloway / Jeffrey Cooper / Melvin Gentry / Belinda Lipscomb / Bobby Lovelace) Midnight Starr
Let's do it again (Babyface / Jon-John) TLC
Let's get the mood right (Babyface) Johnny Gill
Let's make love (Babyface / Nathan East) Fourplay
Lifetime warranty (L.A.Reid / Babyface) Ada Dyer
Like you used to do (Babyface / Barry J.Eastmond / Anita Baker) Anita Baker feat. Babyface
Lonely girl (Babyface / Jon B) Jon B
Long way from home (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Johnny Gill
Look what love can do (Babyface / Carole Bayer Sager) Babyface
Losin' the love (Babyface / Marc Nelson) Joy Enriquez
Love by day, love by night (Babyface / Daryl Simmons / Kayo) After 7
Love chooses (Babyface / Amel Larrieux / Guesly Larrieux) ??
Love hurts (Babyface) Jon B
Love hurts (Babyface) Laurnea
Love hurts (Babyface / Daryl Simmons / Kayo) Ralph Tresvant
Love is for keeps (Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Redd Hott
Love makes things happen (L.A.Reid / Babyface) Pebbles & Babyface
Love saw it (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Karyn White & Babyface
Love saw it (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Kenny Lattimore & Chanté Moore
Love shoulda brought you home (Babyface / Daryl Simmons / Bo Watson) Toni Braxton
Love song (Babyface / James Harris III / Terry Lewis) Babyface
Love that man (Babyface / Rob Fusari / Erliza Laues / Balewa Muhammad / Calvin Gaines / Bill Lee) Whitney Houston
Love will be waiting (Babyface / Tommy Sims / Marc Harris) Kevon Edmonds
Love will be waiting at home (Babyface) For Real
Love will save us (Babyface / Tommy Sims) Donell Jones
Lover and friend (Babyface / Jason Edmonds / Antony Best) Babyface
Lovers (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Darnell Bristol / Kevin Roberson) Babyface
Love's been so nice (Babyface / Don Parks) After 7
Loving you (Babyface / Rob Lewis / Carole Bayer Sager) Vanessa Williams
Loving you still (Daryl Simmons) Tamia
Lucky charm (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Daryl Simmons / Greg Scelsa) The Boys
Mad, sexy, cool (Babyface) Babyface
Make him do right (Daryl Simmons) Karyn White
Making love (Babyface) Babyface
Mary Mack (L.A.Reid / Babyface) Babyface
Me time (Babyface / Clarence Allen / Greg Pagani) Heather Headley
Melt away (Babyface / Mariah Carey) Mariah Carey
Minutes (Daryl Simmons / Deborah Cox / Stephen Lascelles) Deborah Cox
Miracle (L.A.Reid / Babyface) Whitney Houston
Miss know it all (Babyface / Daryl Simmons/ Gregg Pagani) Babyface
Missin' you (it will break my heart) (Babyface) Babyface
Missin' you (it will break my heart) (Babyface) Ken Hirai
Missing you (Babyface) Mary J.Blige
Most girls (Babyface / Damon Thomas) Pink
Mother (Babyface / Ashanti Douglas) Ashanti
My first night with you (Babyface / Diane Warren) Deborah Cox
My first night with you (Babyface / Diane Warren) Mya
My heart is calling (Babyface) Whitney Houston
My kinda girl (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Babyface
My letter (Babyface) ??
My love, sweet love (Babyface) Patti LaBelle
My only woman (L.A.Reid / Daryl Simmons / Kayo) After 7
My, my, my (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Daryl Simmons / Kayo) Johnny Gill
My, my, my (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Daryl Simmons / Kayo) Gerald Albright
My, my, my (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Daryl Simmons / Kayo) The Whispers
Never (Babyface / Nathan Morris / Shawn Stockman / Wanya Morris / Michael S.McCary) Boyz II Men
Never forget you (Babyface / Mariah Carey) Mariah Carey
Never gonna let you go (Babyface) Faith Evans
Never just for a ring (Daryl Simmons / Toni Braxton / Pure Soul) Toni Braxton
Never keeping secrets (Babyface) Babyface
Never know love (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Johnny Gill
Never love you (Babyface) Kevon Edmonds
Never make a promise (Daryl Simmons) Dru Hill
Nights like this (L.A.Reid / Babyface) After 7
No deposit, no return (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Daryl Simmons / Kayo) Sheena Easton
No doubt about love (Babyface / Kenny Loggins / Julia Loggins) Kenny Loggins
No love (Daryl Simmons) Kevon Edmonds
No more lies (Babyface / Jonathan Robinson) ??
No one knows about a good thing (Daryl Simmons / Curtis Mayfield) Curtis Mayfield
The soldier song (Babyface) Babyface
Not going nowhere (Babyface) Babyface
Not gon' cry (Babyface) Mary J.Blige
Not gon' cry (Babyface) Kirk Wahlum
Not gon' cry [Mais en Septembre] (Babyface / Laurent Chalumeau) G Squad
Nothin' (that compares 2 U) (L.A.Reid / Babyface) The Jacksons
On our own (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Bobby Brown
On the line (Babyface) Michael Jackson
One love (L.A.Reid / Babyface) Sheena Easton
One night (L.A.Reid / Babyface) After 7
One tender moment (Daryl Simmons) Manchild feat. Babyface
Ordinary day (Babyface / Marsha Ambrosius) ??
Ordinary girl (Babyface / Lionel Richie) Lionel Richie
Our message (Babyface) Manchild feat. Babyface
Outside in / inside out (Babyface / Michael Flowers) Babyface
Personality (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Dwayne Ladd) Dynasty
Plenty lovin' (Babyface) Beverly
Pretty girl (Babyface) Jon B
Pretty little girl (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Bobby Brown
Pride & joy (Babyface) Jon B
Queen of the night (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Daryl Simmons / Whitney Houston) Whitney Houston
Ready or not (L.A.Reid / Babyface) After 7
Rebel (with a cause) (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Daryl Simmons / Jermaine Jackson / Kayo) Jermaine Jackson
Red dress (Babyface) Babyface
Red light special (Babyface) TLC
Refuse to be loose (L.A.Reid / Babyface) Siedah Garrett
Reversal of a dog (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Daryl Simmons / Lisa Lopes / Melvin Davis) The LaFace Cartel
Right down to it (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Damian Dame
Right down to it (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Kenny Lattimore
Rock bottom (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Babyface
Rock steady (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Bo Watson / D.Ladd) The Whispers
Rock wit'cha (L.A.Reid / Babyface) Bobby Brown
Rock wit'cha (Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Michael White
Roni (Babyface) Bobby Brown
Roses are red (L.A.Reid / Babyface) Mac Band feat. McCampbell Brothers
Sadder than blue (Babyface / Bob Brockmann / Jeffrey Burrell) Az Yet
Saturday (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Babyface
Saved for someone else (Babyface / Keith Andes) Az Yet
Say a prayer for me (L.A.Reid / Babyface) Pebbles
Say what's in my heart (Babyface / Diane Warren) Aaron Neville
Say yes (Babyface / Marsha Ambrosius) K-Ci & Jojo Hailey
Sayonara (L.A.Reid / Babyface) After 7
Secret rendezvous (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Karyn White
Secrets (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Daryl Simmons / Jermaine Jackson) Jermaine Jackson feat. Pebbles
Seven seas (Babyface) Babyface
Seven whole days (L.A.Reid / Babyface) Toni Braxton
Seven whole days (L.A.Reid / Babyface) The Whispers
Sexy love (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Stanley Burke) The Deele
She (Babyface) Babyface
She wanted (L.A.Reid / Kayo / Dee) The Deele
She's international (Babyface / Daryl Simmons / Gregg Pagani / Clarence Allen) Babyface
Shock dat monkey (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Daryl Simmons / Lisa Lopes) TLC
Simple days (Babyface / Bradley Spalter / Emanuel Officier / Robbie Nevil) Babyface
Sittin' up in my room (Babyface) Brandy
Situation (Babyface / Anthem) Joy Enriquez
Sixty seconds (L.A.Reid / Daryl Simmons / Damian / Q.T. / T-Boz) Damian Dame
Slow down (Daryl Simmons / Steve Harvey / Karyn White) Karyn White
Slow jam (Babyface / Boaz Watson / Belinda Lipscomb / Sidney Johnson) Midnight Starr
Slow jam (Babyface / Boaz Watson / Belinda Lipscomb / Sidney Johnson) Monica & Usher
Smile (Babyface) Tamia
So many thangz (Babyface / Daryl Simmons / Darnell Bristol) The Deele
So sexual (Babyface / Mark 'Sisqo' Andrews / Nathan Walton / Kiehl Owens / Tavia Ivey) Sisqo
Some kinda lover (Babyface / Boaz Watson) The Whispers
Somebody to love me (Babyface) The Honeyz
Someday (Babyface) Joy Enriquez
Someone to love (Babyface) Jon B feat. Babyface
Someone to love (Babyface) Kirk Wahlum
Somethin' you wanna know (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Daryl Simmons / Kayo / L.Lopes) TLC
Something in your eyes (Babyface) Bell Biv Devoe
Sometimes love (Babyface) Patti LaBelle
Somewhere there is a love (Babyface) De De O'Neal
Soon as I get home (Babyface) Babyface
Soon as I get home (Babyface) Bobby Valentino
Soon as I get home (Babyface) The Whispers
Soon as I get over you (Babyface / Marc Nelson / Darell Spencer / Jonathan Robinson) Boyz Of Paradise
Sorry for the stupid things (Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Babyface
Southern girl (Babyface / Daryl Simmons / Dave Simmons Jr) A Few Good Men
Split personality (Babyface / Terence Abney / Alicia Moore) Pink
Stay (Daryl Simmons) Destiny's Child
Stay with me (Daryl Simmons / Kayo / Pebbles) Pebbles
Still (Lionel Richie) Kenny Lattimore & Chanté Moore
Still feeling good (Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Lakeside
Still in love with U (Babyface / Jason Edmonds) Babyface
Still my boo (Babyface) Babyface feat. Mycale
Stone cold gentleman (L.A.Reid / Daryl Simmons / Kayo / R.Tresvant / B.Brown / Lasha) Ralph Tresvant
Street beat (L.A.Reid / Babyface) The Deele
Stressed out (Babyface / Pharrell Williams / Chad Hugo) Babyface
Stuck (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Stanley Burke / Charles McCampbell) Mac Band feat. McCampbell Brothers
Sugar bear (Babyface) Beverly
Sunshine (Babyface) Babyface
Superwoman (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Karyn White
Superwoman (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Paulini
Sweet November (Babyface) The Deele
Swing it (Babyface / Jon-John / R.Phillips) Diana Ross
Take a bow (Babyface / Madonna) Madonna
Take your time (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Babyface
Talk to me (Babyface) Babyface feat. Eric Clapton
Tears (Babyface) Isley Brothers
Tell me (Babyface / Carsten 'Soulshock' Schack / Kenneth Karlin / C.Higgens) Kevon Edmonds
Tell me how U want it (Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Johnny Gill
Tell me no (Babyface / Kandi Burrus / Annie Roboff / Holly Lamar) Whitney Houston
Tell me where (Babyface / Chuck Boom / A-Tone) Tevin Campbell
Tender lover (L.A.Reid / Babyface / P.Smith) Babyface
Thank you (Babyface) ??
Thankful (Babyface / Damon Thomas / Harvey Mason Jr) Kelly Clarkson
That shit turns me on (Babyface / Oreolando Mallary) Oreolando Mallary
That somebody was you (Babyface / Walter Afanasieff / Kenny G) Kenny G feat. Toni Braxton
That's all I want (Babyface / Keith Andes) Az Yet
The best of love (Babyface / Michael Bolton / Lamont Dozier) Michael Bolton
The color of love (Babyface) Sam Salter
The color of love (Babyface) Boyz II Men
The day (that you gave me a son) (Babyface) Babyface
The getting 2 know U (Babyface) Babyface
The last ones standing (Babyface / Ronnie Walton) Babyface
The loneliness (Babyface) Babyface
The lover in me (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Sheena Easton
The phuff (Babyface) Manchild feat. Babyface
The power of the dream (Babyface / David Foster / Linda Thompson) Celine Dion
The runaround (Daryl Simmons / William Thomas) Xscape
The soldier song (Babyface) Babyface
The way love goes (Babyface / Al Green) Al Green
The way you love me (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Karyn White
There for me (Babyface / Damon Thomas) Next
There for me (baby) (Babyface / Damon Thomas) Tyrese
There goes my baby (Babyface / Daryl Simmons / Calvin Richardson / Gregg Pagani / Clarence Allen / Marvin Smith) Charlie Wilson
There goes that feeling again (Babyface / Usher) Usher
There she goes (Babyface / Pharrell Williams / Chad Hugo) Babyface
There U go (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Johnny Gill
There's no me without you (Babyface) Toni Braxton
These are the things that are special to me (Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Manchild feat. Babyface
These are the times (Babyface / Damon Thomas) Dru Hill
Thing called love (Daryl Simmons / Kayo) The Boys
Thinkin' bout my ex (Babyface / Tanya White / A.Cramer) Janet Jackson
This is how it works (Babyface / Lisa Lopes) TLC
This time next year (Babyface / David Foster) Toni Braxton
This time next year (Babyface / David Foster) Shola Ama
Til you do me right (Babyface / Melvin Edmonds / Kevon Edmonds) After 7
Time (time to party) (Babyface / Paul Scott) Gary L.
Together forever (Babyface) Babyface
Tonight (Babyface) 3rd Storee
Tonight is right (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Keith Washington
Tonight it's goin' down (Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Babyface
Too fly for the man (Babyface / Harvey Mason Jr / Damon Thomas / Joe Thomas / Joshua P.Thompson)
Treat you right (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Jermaine Jackson feat. Babyface
True lovers (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Jermaine Jackson
Truly something special (Babyface / Bo Watson) After 7
Trumpet man (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Daryl Simmons / Damian / Deah Dame) Damian Dame
Try it on my own (Babyface / Carole Bayer Sager / Jason Edmonds / Aleese Simmons / Nathan Walton) Whitney Houston
Two occasions (Babyface / Sydney Johnson / Darnell Bristol) The Deele
Two occasions (Babyface / Sydney Johnson / Darnell Bristol) Hannah Jones
Two occasions (Babyface / Sydney Johnson / Darnell Bristol) The Whispers
U should know (Babyface / Jason Edmonds) Babyface
Until you come back (Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Whitney Houston
Water runs dry (Babyface) Boyz II Men
We come to funk (Babyface / A.Johnson / K.Ferrell) Redd Hott
Well alright (Babyface) Babyface
We're making whoopee (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Jermaine Jackson
We're not making love no more (Babyface) Dru Hill
Wey U (Babyface) Chanté Moore
Wey U (Babyface) Kirk Wahlum
Whack it on me (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Daryl Simmons / Kayo / Damian / S.Gibson) Damian Dame
What does it take (give me a break) (Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Murfee De'Rock
What I like about you (Babyface / Jon B) Jon B
What if (Babyface) Babyface
What if (Babyface / Damon Thomas / Harvey Mason Jr / Eric Dawkins / Tony Dixon / Lofton) Ruben Studdard
Whatever (Babyface / Keith Andes / Giuliano Franco) En Vogue
When April first came (Babyface / Daryl Simmons) ??
When can I see you (Babyface) Babyface
When can I see you (Babyface) Ken Hirai
When can I see you (Babyface) Kirk Wahlum
When can I see you (Babyface)
Rene Froger
When can I see you (Babyface) Soul Attitude
When I'm crying (Babyface / Daryl Simmons / Kayo) Damian Dame
When men grow old (Babyface) Babyface
When you believe (Babyface / Stephen Schwartz) Whitney Houston & Mariah Carey
When your body gets weak (Babyface) Babyface
Where is my love (Babyface / El De Barge) El De Barge feat. Babyface
Where will you go (Babyface) Babyface
Where you are (Babyface / El De Barge) El De Barge
Whip appeal (Babyface / P.Smith) Babyface
Whip appeal (Babyface / P.Smith) Kirk Wahlum
Whip appeal (Babyface / P.Smith) The Whispers
Why (Babyface) 3T feat. Michael Jackson
Why do I believe (Babyface) Pebbles
Why does it hurt so bad (Babyface) Whitney Houston
Why I love you so much (Daryl Simmons) Monica
Why me (Babyface / Michael Bolton) Michael Bolton
Why should I care (Babyface) Toni Braxton
Willing to forgive (Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Aretha Franklin
Willing to forgive (Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Pam Hall
Wish that I could tell you (Babyface) Babyface
Wish U was my girl (Babyface / Jason Edmonds) Babyface
With all my heart (Babyface) Walter & Scotty
With him (Babyface) Babyface
Woman no cry (Babyface / Bill Withers) Boyz II Men
Word to the badd! (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Daryl Simmons / Jermaine Jackson / Lisa Lopes) Jermaine Jackson
Work it out (Babyface / Tim Kelley / Bob Robinson) Babyface
Work me slow (Daryl Simmons) Xscape
Wouldn't that be something (Babyface / Pam Sheyne)
Yesterday (Babyface / Marsha Ambrosius) ??
You are my life (Babyface / Carole Bayer Sager / Michael Jackson / John McClain) Michael Jackson
You are my love (Daryl Simmons) SWV
You are the man (Babyface) En Vogue
You bring the sunshine (Babyface / Jon-John Robinson / Walter Morrison / Garry Shider / George Clinton Jr) Gina Thompson
You can do anything (Babyface / Carole Bayer Sager / Carole King) Carole King
You can't run (Babyface) Vanessa Williams
You don't know (Daryl Simmons / Sherry Simmons) Jesse Powell
You for me (Daryl Simmons / K.Ferrell) Redd Hott
You got the love I want (Babyface / El De Barge) El De Barge
You mean the world to me (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Toni Braxton
You mean the world to me (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Pam Hall
You said, you said (L.A.Reid / Babyface / Daryl Simmons / Jermaine Jackson) Jermaine Jackson
You thought wrong (Babyface / Damon Thomas / Harvey Mason Jr / Kelly Clarkson / Tamyra Gray) Kelly Clarkson feat. Tamyra Gray
You were there (Babyface) Babyface
You'll never stand alone (Diane Warren) Whitney Houston
Young girl (Babyface) A Few Good Men
Your eyes (Babyface / Daryl Simmons) Xscape
Your joy (Babyface / Chrisette Michele Payne / Rob Lewis) Chrisette Michele
You're all I've ever known (Babyface / Derek Edmonds) The Deele
You're makin' me high (Babyface / Bryce Wilson) Toni Braxton
You're makin' me high (Babyface / Bryce Wilson) The Whispers
Yours and yours alone (Babyface) Beverly

You can note I didn't include their production work, just the songs they wrote for the artist they produced or cover versions of these songs that has been produced by others.

mercredi 26 août 2009

Something's going on with pop/dance UK maestro Alan Connor

I first got to hear of Alan Connor I think when I searched on the net for more 7th Heaven remixes. They (Jon Dixon and Andy Wetson, formerly in Almighty Associates producers' team) mix dance, hi-nrg and post PWL influences into their work, just like they did for Almighty remixes, and I wanted to keep an eye on their works. That led me to Now the rain has gone, Alan Connor's 2007 big club hit. Initially a guitar-led breezier fresh pop song, their remix (and Liberty City Records' Electric Allstars remix either) made it a perfect dance/pop anthem. I bought me these tracks on and saw there even was a full album, After midnight, with a nice cover art. After a quick listen, I bought it, ready to fall into Alan's musical world.

The album started with the original version of Now the rain has gone and built up stronger with a piece of modern disco perfection named Too much too little followed by his catchy breakthrough club hit (Get it) On the track, then another disco dance perfect song Walking away. All first four tracks could've been lead singles to launch this album, not that the rest of the songs was not good, but they were more growers than instant hits, although still disco influenced pop, sometimes with a bit of rock, sometimes of funk, even with a cover version of Bowie's Fashion too.
The following hit was a new recording, a cover version of Bryan Ferry's Dance away, all completed with a set of dance remixes by 7th Heaven, Electric Allstars, Shanghai Surprize, Julian Marsh and a load more. Then again, my heart melted completely and I hoped this new 2008 release meant a brand new full length release was on its way, despite the fact Mr. Connor was on an independant label, Liberty City (I previously talked about for Sean Ensign's post).
It took time, Alan making us wait by being featured on dance singles by Mike Melange, 2008's Let your love flow and current I love the sunshine, but here it is : I've got Something going on in my hands (I've bought it physical this time!) and this 13 tracks CD album is a perfect combination of past hit singles and new future ones.

It starts with the new Mike Melange collaboration, remixed by Pete Tong's protege Beltek (real name : Martin Bijelić). I love the sunshine is a perfect summer anthem, all fresh and breezy, laidback house with a nice vocal chorus and spanish guitars. Sun went down follows and speeds up the rhythm for another great sunny dance number. Previous Mike Melange's single, Let your love flow, appears next in its 7th Heaven radio mix, like 11 out of 13 of the album's tracks. This one has a repetitive but extremely catchy linedance rhythm with hi-nrg influenced dance arrangements à la Almighty. Then comes No mistaking love and it sounds like what Stock Aitken & Waterman should produce nowadays if they were still making records together. It has got the PWL synthés influenced sound, drumrolls, a catchy chorus and nice female backing vocals. I already like it a lot and that makes me think it could become a further single.
The album's tracklisting alternate new songs with previous club hit singles and it's time on track #5 for the 7th Heaven radio edit of Now the rain has gone, still fresh and new to the ears. Dance away and (Get it) On the track are not far away, both again in their 7th Heaven radio mix form but new songs that are soon-to-come single hits are next with two very good tracks written by Alan Connor with longtime writing partner Darren Fox : Something going on and I'll be waiting. The album title track is very catchy with, then again, Stock Aitken & Waterman influences, with an hypnotic speed rhythm, multiple layers of synthés, a chorus that gets into your brain and never leaves, and nice keyboard melodic lines over it all. SINGLE ALERT! for sure. I'll be waiting is of the same fabric, but with a harder sound, less old-school influenced, but with a chorus to die for : It may even be a surer single and I already can hear the usual Liberty City remixers' working on it... It may be hard to believe it, after this pop/dance perfection, but believe me, the best is yet to come !
Walking away has been remixed by 7th Heaven and sounds now like a Giorgio Moroder-esque uplifting disco-dance anthem that screams out to be released on the dancefloor all around to world to make people scream and sweat, while dancin' and dancin' like crazy to its pulsating beats. Shall I point out this winner is another Connor co-written original song ? I could have nearly said Alan didn't need to do cover versions to have a hit in his hand when track #11 starts and my mind goes WOW!, my mouth goes OOO! and my feets just goes dancing... Heart is just the Pet Shop Boys song I love the best in all their recordings and even if I was anxious of what Alan could have done with it, after listening to half of it, I feel releaved : Good job has been done, still with mixing help from 7th Heaven guys (who can't do no wrong I'm pretty sure now!). Their version wins the challenge of staying truthful to the original song but updating it and making it sound incredibly actual. There's a trumpet at the end that shines through the dancing beats and it even doesn't sound odd. I want it to become a further single for sure, just for the pleasure to hear Shanghai Surprise, Electric Allstars and co. create new mixes of it too. Could this CD be a Greatest Hits Collection instead of just a simple album ? I'm dreaming of it (fingers crossed).
Sadly, I'm less convinced (but that's the first time while listening to Alan's new CD) with the following B!TC# (You got it). The verses sound OK, but I don't like the arrangements (although 7th Heaven is still on duty on this one), the pre-chorus is repetively boring and the spelling B-I-T-C-H chorus really lame. Maybe I've been hardly letdown by it for I was expecting too much of a song named with Bitch sung by a modern hi-energy maestro. I would've loved a campier disco-divo number surely... The CD ends with a 7th Heaven fully produced Human League cover version of Love action (I believe in love) where Alan's voice really sounds like Philip Oakey to my ears : a nice modernization but maybe less personal or too much under the influence of the original band. That makes me double happier that Alan succeeded in taking Neil Tennant's influence apart from his Heart version.

All in all, this CD is nevertheless a must-have because, like I said it previously, it sounds more like a Best Of than just an album. Nearly all the songs have been or could be hit singles - in the club! ...Sorry guys but the sales charts are so boring (at 80%) nowadays... The only real bad thing I would dare to say of it is... I don't like the cover art AT ALL!
I've read on the booklet (where I am very proud and honoured to personally appear in Alan's Thankyou's!!! Did he know I would post a great review for it?) that he worked himself on the album design & concept so I'm all the more sorry to say that but the photo that's been chosen is not the best one (he looks so much sexier on the double-paged and backside silver one), the title font looks like neon from away but no more from near, and the featured black & white singles title lines ruin it more. I know he's on a small label but it wouldn't have cost a lot more to make it look less cheap. And after the beautifully drawn After midnight cover art, I was expecting another piece of art. But I must be the one complaining about a cover art that, for the download market, looks like a pin's.
I would have loved to see all lyrics included in the booklet too but it's good enough to have six of them already. I even consider now buying me his first album on CD either, even if I already bought it digitally, because Alan's albums could become, in a couple of years, high priced collectors.

Now if you want to make yourself an opinion, go find more at his page (
here) and then buy his stuff at the Liberty City store.

mercredi 19 août 2009

new Kylie-esque single "Soundwaves" by french bimbo Angie Be

Just a quickie for tonight...

I've just fallen under the magic spell of Soundwaves, a disco-housed dance/pop number that could have been recorded a couple of years ago by La Minogue in her Fever era except it's a brand new digital AND physical single by a french bimbo named Angie Be (think Lene Alexander meets Victoria Silvstedt on Lolo Ferrari's grave... or try to watch her video below via the youtube monitor) who gets attention this summer in France by being in the cast of a post Big Brother french TV program aired every day on TF1 channel.

That wouldn't have attracted my attention if the buzz created around her and the release of this single that she recorded before her entrance in the camera house hadn't generated comments about the Kylie-esque sound of the music she was making...
And I must admit I love it to death : I mean, I downloaded all the versions on iTunes last weekend but while shopping around yesterday, get caught by the physical CDsingle at my local supermarket and bought it again, taking excuse of one additional mix on the physical release...

Here is the tracklisting :
01/Soundwaves (original radio edit) 3:38
The original version sounds to me like a cross between Lisa Scott-Lee, Kylie & Rachel Stevens
02/Soundwaves (Boyztronik radio edit) 3:41
This mix sounds very much in the french electro tektonik vibe a la Mondotek
03/Soundwaves (N'R'Gee radio edit) 3:21
This one's got an etheral intro inspired by Guetta's When love takes over before gettin' into a ragin' full techno-dance rhythm
04/Soundwaves (RLS disco radio mix) 3:23
Here we get a full disco house treatment and it sounds like 7th Heaven at their best !
05/Soundwaves (PF Pumping radio edit) 3:53
More bangin' dance-core sounds for this one, but still not boring...
06/Soundwaves (David Coroner edit mix) 3:14
This one starts very syncopated and builds up into an all blip-blip electro-fied techno jam, the one I didn't bought digital and definitely not the best of the bunch !!
07/Soundwaves (acoustic piano) 3:39
The CD ends with a surprising acoustic "candlelight version" like some dance acts know how to do it and it works very well : my heart's melting : I've found a new diva .

So you can bet now I 've proven this CD is really worth it. Club lovers will regret full length mixes' non-presence but for the radio edits addict that I am, a tracklisting like this is pure perfection.

I can only hope now she's really gonna get a hit here and elsewhere (Sweden/Japan calling!!!) with her Soundwaves and that her record Company (Universal) will make enough money off her to let her record more tunes in that style and release a full album CD of her before Christmas.
For once, we ain't gettin' rubbish Rap/R&B stuff... !

dimanche 2 août 2009

Yehonathan or an openly gay singer in Israel

After two people have been killed and eleven others wounded by a masked man at a gay club in Tel Aviv last saturday night, I have the feeling Israel may not be the better place to be openly gay sometimes, but is any place on earth safe from homophobia ?
Don't fear me gettin' into politics here, just that I find it some kind of way of writing about a pop/dance artist that I've come through recently on the web as he is from Israel and now openly gay.
Yehonathan (Gatrovitch) started his career (singer & actor) there deep in the closet but after a two years hiatus in Los Angeles, he came back to his country to relaunch his musical career all out and open about his sexuality. And his music and especially his videos shows him off as a gorgeous man gettin' sexy or romantic with guys in an attempt to make people grow up with public homosexual behaviour.
Displayed on his MySpace page for example, videos for My turn, where he's dancing in a club with his man, or Just another summer, where he is gettin' naughty and wet under a beach shower with his lover before they sleep on the sand in a close embrace, are totally new to my eyes, sexy and provocative. Although controversial, they've been popular too, and that must be because they're shameless. Isn't this love & life after all?
What first had me have an eye on then attracted my ears and feet, and I bought his first digital english album online straight away, as his music is hi-nrg dance/house, what I like best as you may know now.
My Turn is not only made of that. It's a musical journey into different territories, from dance/house clubbing to electronical pop or romantic balladery. Maybe not enough cohesive to definitely win my heart but fine enough to make me listen to it now and then and wait for more to come from the 32 year old Tel Aviv cutie boy, that looks like a cross between american Ben Affleck and french Titof to my eyes.

Just another summer and My turn are perfect dance anthem, with nice intros and big chorus. Both have been translated in english from their hebrew original versions to help him crossover and I hope the gay webcommunity will make them hits. The first one has a nice building synthetic rhythm going round around his vocal parts but My turn is the real potential breakthrough hit with its haunting house arrangements and anthemic melody.
Children of the sun is a breezy and sunny laidback electronical mid-tempo while Heaven adds some trip-pop inspiration to the same atmosphere. Across the universe starts slowly too before building up around a pulsating beat and a nice aerial chorus. Way back home has the same kind of slow starts before getting into a dance anthem like the two previous singles, with a dreamy melody of magical piano added on top of that.
This (too short) album has a quiet moment too, with Field of emotions, which is a floating and calm peaceful song. You will always be my love is another calm declaration of love, more rythmic though, and Say goodnight ends the tracklisting (before a club remix of My turn) with more beats and guitars for an electronic pop/rock mid-tempo with nice and memorable chorus.
Yehonathan worked on this album with his ex-boyfriend Lyrik and the soundtrack of their lives makes me hope for better things to come. Their inspiration comes from eurodance sounds to actual american dance/house.
More tracks from him are available on digital stores, from his featurings with other dance DJs from Israel, like How much with Offir Malol or Waiting for you (Tel-Aviv) with El-Zi, or from his former hebrew/english Yehonathan EP, with remixes, so you can extend the tracklisting yourself to make it the album you want.
In that sense, I prefer the cover of this EP displayed above over the right album cover down here, where Yehonathan doesn't look that good I think :

For more of him, videos, music and pictures, just go to his pages and and enjoy!

"Feel So Good" listening to /and looking at... Sean Ensign's CD

Yes, it feels good to listen to Sean Ensign's brand new CD Feel So Good I ordered via because it's packed with high energetic dance anthems. It's not really a new album but a re-worked version of the previous one Finally, released in June 2006 by the big american guy, adding several brand new tracks to the old and well-known ones.

First, let's talk about Finally then. Independantly released on Titan Sounds and available via or for example, this first album collected 10 songs and 5 remixes. Five out of them have been released as singles, Without you, It's my life (finally), Everytime it rains (a cover of Ace of Base), I wanna be with you and Feel so good, with a full package of remixes by the cream of the cream of US/UK dance/house remixers. See for yourself : Hex Hector, Mike Cruz, Mike Rizzo, L.E.X., Georgie Porgie, Jack D.Elliott, Klubjumpers, Shanghai Surprize, Electric Allstars and more...
It looks like it is still available on cdbaby or perfectbeat but what decided me to buy Feel So Good on LibertyCity over Finally (that I nearly completely purchased already digitally) is that it has kept the 10 songs and binned the 5 remixes to add 3 brand new ones plus a megamix, and this new tracklisting (including a song called You keep me hangin' on that could only be full of cover promise) gave me the final move to order it to fulfill my need to have a real piece of Sean Ensign in my hands (lol) even though I already had it on my PC.

Before gettin' into the album track by track, let me add that it is all (but one) produced by Miami's West End studio producer Pete Masitti that is featured on keybords for some Hex Hector remixes, and all the songs that are not cover versions (there are only 3 out of the 13 here, which is a good rate for a dance artist's compilation) have been co-written by Sean Ensign. Who was thinking he was only a body without brain? And he's got a good voice too. So I guess we've found the real dance male diva (or divo?) who's got the full package to get to #1 in our hearts.

The album starts slowly with Disappear. It's all electronic music here but beautifully led by piano sounds and mid-tempo though uplifting ; a perfect builder for what's more to come. Renamed Disappear (Fade away) and remixed with usual partners, this one could easily become a single, appealing both to the contempory pop radios as well as dance clubs. Then comes Without you and its pulsating rhythm, power vocals and instant message ; "Without you, in my life/by my side..." life is with no meaning. A pure diva's delight for the dancefloor. Feel so good follows with some nearly industrial sounds and a nice key change when comes the chorus, then again a perfect anthem for clubs.
Then, on track 4, we find the second new recording, Fly away and the surprise is that it is a cover of Lutricia McNeal's 2000 dance hit. Although its intro here is all acoustic latin guitar, Sean's voice soon comes for the introduction chorus, all anthemic and powerful like it used to be with Lutricia on vocal duties. This new version keeps some diva power by featuring in the background amazing vocals by Charlotte McKinnon and it shines through the Sean sung chorus. Needless to say this masterpiece is the new single and first off this CD, with usual remixers on board, Porl Young (Shanghai Surprize) and Electric Allstars, plus Kumuchi, Julian Marsh and Blue Disco.
Put your hands on me changes the pace a little, with a syncopated R&B rhythm, reminiscent, I feel, of 90's New Jack Swing, even with a guitar-led bridge before more spanish guitar. I like it but maybe not enough hi-nrg for me. Maybe one of the oldest recordings included, I wonder. The notes say this compilation covers the years 1998 to 2008 and aren't the hits from Finally from 2006 ?
It's my life (finally) puts us back on the dancefloor, hands-in-the-air and all sweating to the rhythm of this new anthem that was the first recording featuring Charlotte McKinnon's yealings. Sometimes I think Sean's voices lacks some of her incredible power but overall he's good enough for the job : it's only when he competes with her voice that his sounds a lot thiner... What makes a dance artist's force is his voice, his songs but also the remixers/producers he's working with and his stage presence and when you talk about charisma, sure Sean Ensign's got what it takes ! He's got a nice face, über sexy body, with big pecs, abs and biceps, and from his videos, knows how to move with his dancers. He's involved with his releases as co-writer so I think he's here to stay now.
Following track, It's just sex, plays on that part of his appeal and delivers a message that will please a lot of clubbers : "don't mistake it for love, it's just sex". The message, loud and clear, is repeated ad repeated again to the crowd who knows damn well they're not here in the club to find love but to enjoy themselves and find some sex partner(s) to finish the night with.
After gettin' intimate with some clubbing partner, it is time to cool off in bed and Sean covers Ace Of Base's Rick Nowels & Billy Steinberg co-written Everytime it rains. Even though it has been remixed into a dance number with its release as a single, this is the romantic ballad version that grabs track #8 here. Another single comes next with I wanna be with you that sounds a bit like if it has been produced by the METRO team. Then again, we've got full speed rhythm, uplifting synthés and powerful vocals for anthemic chorus. That's what Sean does best so why ever complain ?
Then comes the Holland/Dozier/Holland's You keep me hangin' on that has been covered by an endless list of artist, incl. Kim Wilde amongst them, with more or less success. The promise of it made me wait for my CD to come with much anticipation and although the production is good, I feel there could have been more power put into it. It lacks some extra punch to get it all high above the dancing crowd. A single release is only guaranteed if remixed for me.
Slow piano notes and soft vocals make I can't deny start and we know it ain't stomper time no more, but time for ballad, hugs & kisses, candlelights and spanish guitar. The chorus is uplifting but it all sounds a little too tragic romantic for me. While Everytime it rains was a slow pop song, this one is a full ballad, nice enough though to not use the skip button, but wait for what's next to come. It's Inevitable and the only track that is not produced by Pete Masitti, but by Mike Waxman, who co-wrote it with Sean. It's starting all atmospherical and haunting before a mad rhythm starts, with whispers by Sean. It has been recorded at Purgatory Studios and it feels like it : being in some purgatory with hot and cold blowed over ourselves, calm breeze before galloping power chorus, and then again calm before pulsating beats. This one definitely is a work of art, clocking at 5'44, for it has taken its time to build it up to what it was destined to be : a dark & light electronical music symphony. We're no more in the passionate dance music era. It's just music with passion (it even ends with what sounds like a heart beating fast) and inspiration ; definitely not commercial but well worth its inclusion here.
"If I could turn back..." it goes with the last song of the CD, Turn back, and Pete Masitti is back on desks for a full-on galloping dance anthem. By bits, It sounds a little dated though so I guess it could be one of the oldest recordings after
Put your hands on me. It could have made us re-start our CD from track #1 but the guys behind this album wanted to help us with a good reminder ; so the CD closes with a megamix by LibertyCity remixers called Electric Allstars Medley. It includes Without you, It's my life (finally), Everytime it rains and I wanna be with you for a nearly 8'00 finale.

Sean Ensign is working on a new album so the three new tracks here must come from these new sessions and what is nice is that he's kept his sound for this new step in the music industry. This UK compilation will help me wait for this second US album and shall help others discover him and his music. His videos are widely available on Youtube or on his MySpace page and they are pleasure for the eyes, for sure. I like it either when he's performing with his dancers or when he's cooling off in bath suit in the pool or in his guy's big arms under the sun.

Kristine W's Power of Music : Club Diva Alert!

It was over a year, since the release of her Diana Ross cover version of The Boss, that we were waiting patiently for her brand new album to be released and finally, after two orders, one delayed, a cancellation and some more time to fly it from US to France, Kristine W(Weitz)'s new CD The Power of Music has arrived in my post.

It's a beautiful digipack independantly released on her label Fly again Music with booklet but I wish we could have had full lyrics over lines and lines of endless thank you's... But over a digital download, we've got the credits and after i put it in my CD player and took a look at it, I saw it'd be heaven on earth : top remixers/producers Hex Hector and Love To Infinity produced half of it !

First surprise, the CD starts with a rock guitar riff on the new single Be alright, a not that dance -rather rock- mid-tempo and one of the three Hex Hector productions in a row. He co-produced the threes with Sean Ensign's producer Pete Masitti and I don't recognize their solo touches. Miss Weitz's influence must have led them somewhere else than their usual sound. The power of music follows, still with too much guitars for my tastes, an intro rap by Big Daddy Kane, and an overall rock R&B feeling... I'm starting to fear for what's more to come. Thankfully the third one, Into U get it all started with some disco-pop production and, even if I don't find it sounding like a Hex Hector production, I like how it sounds, with some nice overdubs à la Stock Aitken Waterman by bits. It will need more punch if released as a single but Kristine W always commission LOADS of remixes for her single releases so I wish Into U will get some.
Time then for some Love To Infinity taster with previous single Never, starting all disco-dance with usual LTI keyboards before roaring diva vocal and pumping rhythm like the Lee brothers are known and called for. This time, they've stayed true to themselves and Never is a pure hands-in-the-air joyful anthem, which is my guilty pleasure. I can never get enough of these kind of tracks. I'd have been in 7th heaven if all of her CD have sounded like that ! There is more UK cheese to come but first 3 other producers share the three following tracks.
An accappella intro starts Not so merry go round, which is co-written and produced by Tony Coluccio and I waited until first chorus for some additional rhythm and beats to be added to the ballad ...but none came. We're all here into fairy music that could have been featured in some Broadway musical : nice and sweet, with good vocal performance and delicate piano but odd just after Never's clubbin' sounds, as if Kristine wanted to blow hot and cold into our ears. Fade's slow intro lets us know that this time there's gonna be a dance development and Chico Di Cicco's production doesn't disappoint : It's an uplifting anthem with some acoustic guitar giving a latin vibe to it though. Kristine's 2007 collaboration with Tony Moran follows but re-recorded with DJ Escape & Tony Coluccio. Walk away sound smore organic than the original version but doesn't lose a single drop of energy.

Same applies for following re-working of one the diva's old classics, Feel what you want, first of four new Love To Infinity productions in a row. Next are previous singles The boss and Love is the look. The Diana Ross anthem is magnified with beautiful vocals and pumping rhythm, and fully deserved its success in the club. Love is the look itself could easily become a new classic. Penned alone by Miss Weitz, all hands-in-the-air musical joy & pure energy, it stands like another milestone in her career made of club hits around the world. The UK series ends with new song Window to your world and the magic lasts one track more : I'm deep in Club heaven with these 6 songs one after the other.
The fall is hard ! Strings gets us back on earth with a raw solo violin before the song turns into a slow mid-tempo, all acoustic although produced by usual dance remixer Mr. Mig. Once again penned by Kristine alone (shall I say nearly all songs here are co-written by her too), we're this time led to some intemporal musical place that builds up little by little into an uplifting calm anthem where her voices shows off and shines. Not that bad after all... Didn't we need a little rest after all these dancings? Do you really want me gets a phat beat back for a very rythmic and again electro-rock/R&B fusion. Kristine even raps a little in the break and it's OK, though not a song I'd like to see become a single from here.
The groove's inside gets the good ol' disco-dance/house vibes back in with a production by the Virgo Brothers and I feel this one has all it takes to become part of this beautiful singles' remix collection of her. To me, this one has the most memorable and appealing chorus of all the non-single tracks here so I hope it'll become one soon. Happiness follows still with breezy organic instrumentation but good club rhythms and a nice "you are my happiness" chorus line. I don't click though with it as a single potential. It's a nice album track though. The CD's last track (#16!) is produced by DJ Escape & Tony Collucio again and Meet again brings on the perfect message for us all fans : with albums like that, surely we will meet Kristine W again, in our CD player, in our club, in our Youtube favourites, etc.

So what to say? Yes, there are a couple of tracks that are not full-on club anthems... but that's Kristine's world too, to put the path down a little and get romantic or inspirational. There may be a little too much rock-sounding guitars on some tracks too (like the ones that finish Meet again) but that makes a change from other usual dance productions. The only BIG let-down that I find in this album is ...that the two bonus tracks are digital-only !
I will never understand why the extra tracks are not given to those who still purchase the music physically ? It would have been a nice present to have them both on CD instead of not having them here and being induced to download them online to complete this album's tracklisting on PC & iPod ...for both of them are absolute must-haves!
I'm coming out is another Diana Ross cover version (you would have bet!) and this song sounds like a special dedication from Kristine W to all her hardcore fans and gay audience. It would have pleased me more if it have featured Love To Infinity production like The Boss because it doesn't sound like them (if somebody out there knows who produced these two bonus tracks, tell me!).
Then comes All in and this one surely samples C+C Music Factory : everyone with recognize the trademark riff Clivillés & Cole used on their first album. Kristine shares the lead with a rapper that makes it sound even more like a tribute to C+C that featured divas on chorus vocals and Freedom Williams on rap. The result is appealing and I can't get enough of it!

This time, the album (her fourth or fifth if you count an obscure one at the start of her career) is over. All we need now is further singles from it, with their usual package of remixes, full lenghths as well as radio edits (THANKS!!!).