Thursday, June 26, 2014

Gary Low-La Colegiala (1984)


I didn't have search too high nor search too low in order to discover my latest pop music gem! Kept saying to myself that I would someday return to the world of Italo-disco.....and the final Thursday of this month of June just so happened to be that day. So I helped myself to "La Colegiala", the second album in the abbreviated music career of Italian-born Luis Romano Peris Belmonte, better known by his stage name of Gary Low. And what's so significant about him being Italian-born? For me, it's the fascinating fact that he sings in my favorite foreign language on this album—Spanish!—as well as in English, when I would've expected a bilingual Italian-born singer to perform some of his lyrics in his native language instead. You can bet, then, that I was all ears listening to the lively opening jam, "La Colegiala"—lively because of that Latin salsa rhythm that spices up anything when it comes to music. Should've been able to exactly identify what the word 'colegiala' meant before I peeked at the album notes, but my mind for some reason was stuck on something between 'college' and 'university'. Which shouldn't have been the case, seeing as 'colegio', which means 'high school', was one of the very first words to enter into my Spanish vocabulary. 'Colegiala', then, translates to 'school girl', and that's who Gary is merrily singing about. It's not just the light salsa rhythm and the Spanish lyrics that spices up this song; it's also Gary's improvised beatboxing that he does for nearly two minutes straight all throughout the song's extended close-out movement. Loved the beatboxing part so much that I purposely played the song back a couple of times from where it starts—at about the four-and-a-half minute mark (and I feel like playing it again). Oh, and he does a little bit of it at the very beginning of the song, too. You won't get to hear him beatbox, however, on the rejuvenating six-minute 'Fast Foot Remix' that yanks you out of the 80's Italo-disco synthpop world and onto the 90's clubhouse floor with its glitzy electro-beat! Got my second helping of Spanish salsa, in a manner of speaking, on the bilingual track, "Mi Querido Amor"—'My Dear Love', as I would translate it. All in English in the verses; all in Spanish in the main chorus. No Latin rhythm this time, but the sunny melody and the twinkly calypso-style beat are equally pleasurable. You're reminded about the simplicity and the attraction of 80's dance-pop music on easy-to-like tunes as "Where I Am", "Non-Stop Searching" and a personal favorite of mine, "Forever, Tonight And All My Life", where the love message 'I want you forever' is as direct and to the point as a sweet love song can get. Perhaps the sweetest moment on this "La Colegiala" album overall: "Go On". And you might want this one to go on and on forever, once you get all caught up in the dreamy melody. I like these kinds of romantic tunes where there's no beat whatsoever and only the lofty ambiance and the singer's tender voice carries you through:

1. La Colegiala
2. Play The Game
3. Where I Am
4. Go On
5. Forever, Tonight And All My Life
6. Mi Querido Amor
7. Non-Stop Searching
8. You Dream A Lot

*****BONUS TRACK*****

9. La Colegiala (Fast Foot Remix)

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