Sunday, July 20, 2014

RAFFISH-How Raffish Are You? (2005)


Gaudily vulgar, cheap or tawdry. Nope—doesn't describe me one bit, so I'm not very 'raffish' at all. Didn't even know the word 'raffish' actually meant until the debut album by this Dutch girl group was requested. Although I had heard of the 'raff' part of it before, me being a faithful watcher of that old 80's cartoon, "Heathcliff", and remembering the alley cat character named Riff-Raff as if it were yesterday (oh, the nostaligia!). And then I found out that 'riffraff' is a whole world altogether: trashy; the lowest classes of people; a group of people, regarded as disreputable or worthless. Well, none of that describes the five lovely ladies whom you see pictured above, as they and their "How Raffish Are You?" album are very much worth checking out and listening to! Yeah, they like to go out and have a good time, as indicated on jams like the groovy opener, where they sing it loud and clear how they just wanna be a plaything for their own playboy , "Down With It" (a classic case of 'two can play that game' here, but in more of a playful manner), "Tonight" (I like how this one teases with the cutesy, toned-down delivery of the verses before breaking out into a big n' bold mega-dance explosion during the main chorus) and my personal favorite, "Let Go" (their unified voices on this one are delicious together, and I love the cool, old-school r&b groove on this one—perfect for these let's-just-chill-out-and-kick-it kinda tune), but it's all delivered in exquisitely hip taste. "Thursday's Child" is another favorite and one of the Dutch girl group's finest moments, of not the finest. Their sweet mellow voices tell a very touching story about an innocent young girl; the rest you'll have you hear for yourself. "I Cry For Love" has a bit of a funky, slightly jazzed-up groove that found favor with my ears the longer the music progressed. Then there's the haunting piece, "Sympathetic", with its cold, piano melody and suspenseful vibe, which matches up perfectly with the dark, I-remember-those-painful-nights-of-heartbreak theme of the lyrics. Like that rap that one of the girls busts out at the midway point, too. Then there's a jam I had a lot of fun with: "When I'm Near You". Has a great 80's dance/pop feel to it that didn't take me very long to get into. So as you can see, nothing gaudily vulgar, cheap or tawdry about the tunes on this album, and if there was anything at all cheap about it, that would be the price you'd have to pay in order tog get it from "The Music Spectrum" and enjoy it:

1. Plaything
2. Let Go
3. Man Enough
4. Come On
5. Thursday's Child
6. Living In The Real World
7. Tonight
8. Down With It
9. I Cry For Love
10. Sympathetic
11. When I'm Near You
12. Make Your Mind Up
13. Plaything (Dirty Street Mix)

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