samedi 20 février 2010

Indra's One woman show or her Kylie inspired comeback

I remember back in 1991, when I had read in the music press that Kylie Minogue was having less success in France because of her public having moved on to buy new comer Indra's music, I was thinking they didn't have the same sound ; while Kylie's was pure pop with more dance/club feeling since her Rhythm of love album, Indra made full on eurodance music for club with raps like it was trendy in the 90's.
Now's the time for me to call her 2010 comeback her real move in Kylie's direction. One Woman Show, her brand new album, preceded since the end of 2009 by the first single Upper hand (sexy mama), is a collection of electrohoused dance/pop that should appeal to every Kylie's fan and a new direction for the swedish dance diva whose career has been focused on France.

First, let's sum it up a little her musical career here for all international readers who may wonder who she is.
She was discovered dancing in a discotheque and was chosen to front a dance/rap hit Let's go crazy in 1991. She got managed by Dalida's brother, Orlando, and worked then mainly with Eddy Beatboxking (aka Walter Taïeb, famous from Rozlyne Clarke's success) on her first album Temptation and following singles Misery, Temptation and Tell me. Another album followed in 1992 from the then called "Queen of Dance" in France (she premiered on stage for none other than Prince at Paris Bercy), Together Tonight, with singles Gimme what's real, Rescue me and Yesterday is history (tomorrow is a mystery). Although the chart success got less impresive on each release, Orlando then released a Best of collection in 1994 with new recordings Disco fever, No baby and her cover of Claude François Alexandrie Alexandra plus singles Save my life and
Still riding high on the eurodance sound, Indra's third studio album recorded with german top acts Masterboy & DJ Bobo, Anywhere, got released in 1995 but flopped. Same happened with singles Anywhere and We belong together and Indra's musical career went on hiatus.
She tried a comeback in 1997 with the single Message for you then in 1999 with Never never and her fourth studio album You And Me. These releases were a bigger flop and she recorded a MOR duet with Michael Damian, Reggae life that went unnoticed. She then decided to get a life outside of music, got married and had a baby and it wasn't until 2004 that music got her back. Frédéric Lerner, a french pop/rock singer often labelled as a Jean-Jacques Goldman poor wannabe, wrote her a duet in french, Besoin de vous, that was a minor hit.
Orlando planned a big comeback for her and made her record Oublie-moi, a R&B/dance/pop song penned by R&B french chart stars of the moment Tragédie, as well as other new french/english tracks before she appeared on a french real-TV show to help the swedish girl to get her french public's attention back. It worked as her following single, the electro/dance Sois beau et tais-toi charted at number 16 in 2006. A new retrospective album, just called Indra, got released including her previous major singles as well as brand new recordings. Another reality, a pure Kylie discohouse anthem, should have been a single but there wasn't more singles off the album and Indra disappeared once more re-appear on stage as an actress at the start of 2009 before Upper hand (sexy mama) was digitally released by the end of the same year.
Now's the time for the full on release, the fifth studio album One Woman Show and it looks like Orlando tried to make it a big comeback as he sent her back in her native land to work with swedish producers for an international exposure and a CD booklet of high standard with lyrics and classy photos. And what we get is sure a pleasure for the ears. Indra has never been a big vocalist but electro/disco pop suits her limited vocal range with perfection and when some will find she's just another Kylie pale copy, others will have enough to like it for it is : good dance/pop music.
Let's get more intimate with her with my usual track by track review :

1/ ONE WOMAN SHOW 3:33 (Anders Wollbeck / Mattias Lindblom / Alex James)
The album opener is an electro dance/pop song with guitars penned and produced by Vacuum (aka Anders Wollbeck & Mattias Lindblom), which is part of the Alexander Bard empire as he funded it after Army Of Lovers and before moving to BWO. The track is a catchy number that sets the scene for the full album and could easily be a single.
2/ HIGH HEELS AND BACKWARDS 3:50 (Anders Wollbeck / Mattias Lindblom / Niklas Bergwall / Niklas Kings)
Next one is co-written & produced by the same duo, but with additional talent by the Kate Ryan swedish producers 2N (Niklas & Niklas), and the song is even catchier. The melody and the chorus line is uplifiting, the arrangements are hypnotizing and it screams out for being next single to really launch the album !
3/ MOVE IN TIME 3:43 (George Nakas / Klas Wahl / Thomas Kent / Tara McDonald)
Written and produced like more than half of the album by the swedish team Forty4s (the same who did Good times for Dannii Minogue), Move in time is of the same vein as the previous songs, catchy dancepop with a killer chorus that has a very memorable leading line ; that can make the difference to choose the right single so it is another pretendant for sure.
4/ UPPER HAND (SEXY MAMA) 4:20 (Fridolin Tai Nordso Schjoldan / Anne Judith Wik / Nermin Harambasic / Ronny Svendsen / Robin Jenssen)
Upper hand (sexy mama) starts a little slowly, with a mid-tempo and laidback beat and verses that flow in your ears like sweet sirop, then comes the chorus and its electro loops and hypnotizing melody... You must get instantly hooked. The male vocals by Hallgeir Rustan going "Hey sexy mama!" are irresistible and the bridge where Indra goes on rapping is nice and perfect and reminiscent of her first hits. I can't understand why this single hasn't taken off high in the charts.
5/ ALL I SEE IS YOU 3:56 (Rob Davis / Mikko Tamminen /Samuli Laiho)
Co-written by Rob Davis but produced by the Forty4s, All I see is you is another contender for the singles choice. The song is another laidback dance track with an uplifting pre-chorus and a repetitive but nice and very memorable chorus where Indra only repeats the title line, but it ain't boring at all ; I like it a lot ! The ending that all goes echo-ing with vocals fading out is haunting too.
6/ ONLY YOU 3:41 (George Nakas / Klas Wahl / Niara Scarlett)
With this new track it seems the Forty4s can't do no wrong as Only you is another highlight of the album, another top pop/dance track with strong chorus with universal sing-along lines Oh oh oh baby that can make people sing along on dancefloors with their hands in the air, in love with this love song.
7/ LADYKILLA 3:52 (Adrian Zagoritis / Geoffrey Williams / Marc Ziburg / Deborah Odedere)
The Vacuum guys are back on co-production duties on this third track and it is still a pleasure. Haunting synthés and disco rhythm set the pace for another perfect pop anthem. There hasn't been a single down-track or pause moment on the album yet.
8/ A DREAMER'S SONG 3:40 (Indra Kuldassaar / Gérard Capaldi / Antoine Angelelli)
A dreamer's song is the first of two tracks co-written by Indra with writers from Orlando's team and co-produced & mixed by frenchy Maxime Desprez (who nearly produced the whole Quentin mosimann album! Isn't the world a little place?) and it sounds different from the previous tracks. With haunting male vocals in the background (that makes me think of an old Jam & Spoon intro), hypnotic and nearly tribal background vocals, the song goes up & down on its rhythm until the chorus comes and makes us dance along. In final, this one is strange but nice with a title that would have suited a ballad easily more than this.
9/ BANG 3:12 (George Nakas / Klas Wahl / Victoria Horn)
The Forty4s are back on this electro/R&B inspired in-ya-face track and although the chorus is nice, it is the first song that I don't rate at the same standard than the rest of the album. Maybe the magic doesn't click for me here.
10/ WATCH HIM (AS HE GO-GO'S) 3:11 (Alex James / Andy Chatterley)
This is Vacuum's final collaboration on the album and the song sounds a little old-fashioned to me, retro synthé-pop a-like, with a nice chorus that got some cute La la la la la la lines. I like this one but then again, I don't rate it as single potential. Indra's voice sounds a little lame too on this one, with less effects to sound more natural but with a rather bad effect.
11/ WHEN U'RE GONE 3:11 (Indra Kuldassaar / Gérard Capaldi / Antoine Angelelli)
Second of Maxime Desprez works, When U're gone is a winner : catchy, uplifting, with memorable chorus and electro/disco arrangements that fit it perfectly. With this one, we're back on the high profile songs that started the CD.
12/ DANCE FOR ME 4:21 (Tim Baxter / Heidrun Anna Bjornsdottir / Anthony Whitting)
The last of the Forty4s productions and final track of the album sounds like the mood gets cooler in its intro with Indra's voice going nearly childish on pulsating beats but soon it builds up into a retro dance track. I don't know why but I link it musically with 80's breakdance...

In conclusion, it is a full pop/dance collection with no ballad at all and made at 75% of electro disco/dance pop that has the potential to hit the radios as single ; it ain't bad at all for a comeback, isn't it?
So for those who knew her, go and buy it! For the others who like their Kylie/Dannii sound-a-likes, take a listen then go buy it too !!

Aucun commentaire:

Enregistrer un commentaire