mercredi 1 août 2007

Sagi Rei's dance hits in acoustic versions

Surfing the net I found last week an israelian singer that has settled now in Italy where he produced last year a 12 tracks album called "Emotional Songs - Acoustic Dance" made of his own vocal/guitar versions of dance anthems.

The album enlists Billie Ray Martin's Your loving arms, Lisa Stansfield's All around the world, Gala's Freed from desire, Jam & Spoon's Right in the night, Snap!'s Rhythm is a dancer, Gigi D'Agostino's L'amour toujours, Robin S' Show me love, Blast & V.D.C.'s Crayzy man, Ultra Naté's Free, Raul Orellana & Jocelyn Brown's Gypsy rhythm, Haddaway's What is love and Alex Party's Wrap me up : All dance/club hits from 1992 to 1997 (except for Lisa Stansfield's 1989 classic) that Sagi sings as if they were ballads or romantic songs with his beautiful voice and just his guitar... and it's FABULOUS!

I, for sure not one who usually likes it when the tempo's down or when there is no synthés, analogic beats nor keyboards, have found me completely spellbound by these versions and I even forgot it was a guitar that gives the rhythm and embodies the stripped-to-the-bone acoustic versions.

Don't expect these dance anthems to sound still like club hits (except for the dance remix of Rhythm is a dancer that found its place as a B-side to the single release of the original album version) but you will re-discover all these songs and will agree then that a good song sounds good either when expensively recorded & mixed with loads of electronic equipement AS WELL AS recorded live with just a guitar by a talented guy with a voice of gold.

Not only has he apparently met some huge success in some places around the world but Sagi Rei has just released a brand new album called "Emotional Songs - Part 2" which duplicates the reciepe of the first, but with greater arrangements involving piano & strings this time. My Heart melted again!

This time, he chose his songs in an extended range of styles & years and picked on Crystal Waters' Gypsy woman, Tina Charles' I love to love, Joe Smooth's Promised land, Everything But The Girl's Missing, Alcazar's Crying at the discotheque, Livin' Joy's Don't stop movin', Supermen Lovers' Starlight, Moloko's Sing it back, Dead Or Alive's You spin me round (like a record), Boys Town Gang's I can't take my eyes off you, Modjo's Lady, Ace Of Base's All that she wants, La Bouche's Sweet dreams and Bobby Brown's Two can play that game.
The result sounds as great as on "Emotional Songs 1" and you can't help loving his interpretations of all these beloved and rather well-known hits.

On the whole package, there's only one single track that I can't get used to : his take on Robin S Show me love where I think he lost the magical rhythm of the original. There are other lesser known songs (Crayzy man & L'amour toujours) that I don't know the originals enough to compare but really like his versions and there are others that fit its guitar-led arrangements perfect because of the latino/gipsy original inspiration (Gypsy rhythm & Right in the night). The best ones for me though, and the ones you should first listen to, if you want to make yourself an opinion about his work, are Free, Promised land, All around the world, Gypsy woman, Rhythm is a dancer and
Your loving arms.

So go to his Myspace page and take a listen before iTuning his name!
And remember you've heard of him here first :)
This man is gonna be HUGE!

Now I dream, before he chooses some new classics to make his own, of a remix album made of dance mixes of all these acoustic versions, just to make sure the usual dance addicts get to know this artist that looks like he loves the dance scene enough to re-invent its best anthems for the after party cooldown times.

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