Wednesday, July 23, 2014

VIENNA-Two Boys And A Girl (1992)


For my second treat of the day, I trek back over to the Scandinavian continent where we find the obscure Danish pop trio VIENNA. But wait a minute—isn't Vienna a city in Austria, which is in Central Europe? Yeah, I thought so too. So I wonder what's behind the significance of Vienna then; maybe they just so happen to love that famous Austrian city? With very little information to go on about this group, I can only assume that this group has long disbanded since their 1992 album, "Two Boys And A Girl". Pretty slick what the marketing crew did in designing the cover artwork, hiding the album's title in plain visible sight. If you look closely, the title is creatively spelled out in faded gray text by the Roman numeral for '2', followed by the male gender symbol, a sophisticated-looking ampersand, a capital 'A', then the female gender symbol—all in that exact order. I may have never gotten this album had it not been for the recommendation to listen to an assorted music mix containing this album's sixth track, "Black Hotel". A funny coincidence, as the first time I heard it at the beginning of this month, I was literally driving along the interstate halfway between Missouri and Illinois on my way to check in to a hotel. But as soon as the song started, I was ready to make a second reservation and check into this hotel instead, spending all day and all night listening to this awesome jam! 'This should be played at a high volume, preferably in a residential area', the announcer man says during the intro, followed by a cool glass-shattering effect before the main beat kicks in. Well, I was out in the middle of nowhere next to some open fields, so that was the best I could do! I've played this song at least a dozen times, yet I'm still not exactly clear what's happening to the people at the "Black Hotel" according to the lyrics, but it sounds like a dark place that you might not wanna end up, if the lines that go 'you soon forget what you came for' and 'you won't break out; you won't break free' are any indication. I just enjoy the dancey uptempo beat, the VIENNA girl's amazing vocals (I especially like that cool double voice effect during the two verses) and the screaming rock guitar accompaniment. Even though I thoroughly enjoyed my stay at the "Black Hotel", I eventually checked out and checked in with the rest of the songs on this album—all of them gems that sparkle and shine with the VIENNA girl's voice leading the way on each one, except when she shares lead vocal duties with one of the male members of the group on "Told Me So". You would really think every song would be a gem the moment her voice impressed you on the opener, "Same Old Square", then impressing you even more on the sunny follow-up, "Garden" (this one sure puts a smile on the face, and for more smiles, check out the 5+ minute 'Extended Version' included as a special bonus). My addiction to "Black Hotel" had taken a back seat when I made it down to the lyrically haunting piece "When Love Is Gone" (gotta dig the breezy melody against the funky n' jazzy beat here) and eventually crashed into Track #9's "Broken Hearts", whose haunting melody and superb background vocals just hold me captive all throughout. But at the end of the trip, all I wanted to do was check right back in to that "Black Hotel", hang up the 'Do Not Disturb" sign and throw away the key:

1. Same Old Square
2. Garden
3. Told Me So
4. When Love Is Gone
5. Time
6. Black Hotel
7. Say It's Allright
8. Scream And Shout
9. Broken Hearts
10. If I Had Known

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

11. Garden (Extended Version)

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