Saturday, August 16, 2014

Ernest Kohl-The Importance Of Being (1999)


Positive music is a very important aspect of my life and overall well-being, and this next goodie from my dance music collection positively makes that statement loud and clear! That would be "The Importance Of Being", the thrilling debut album by HI-NRG artist Ernest Kohl. It was about six years ago when I first got introduced to the multi-talented singer, songwriter, choreographer and producer through hearing the radio-edited version of his divine cover of YAZOO's "Only You". And with me having got this album, I got to enjoy the glitzy, super-divine 7+ minute version that awaits here on Track #6! So, think of it as a techno remix of the 1982 original—same romantic lyrics, same sweet melody—except without Alison Moyet's vocals, but with Ernest's soothing voice instead. Although there is a lady who can be heard on this energized remake—a very soulful lady, that is, whose wailing voice can be heard echoing the lyrics to quite a few songs on this album. I suspect it's the late Phoebe Snow, an American singer I've yet to become fully acquainted with who is credited as Ernest's duet partner on another dance hit, "Fugitive Of Love". Really, I give praises all around for everyone contributing on the vocals all throughout, but even more so on the feel-good inspirational jams "Set Your Spirit Free" and "Live It Up" (the latter is like a mega vocal explosion!), "Love Changes" (this one samples a beat to an old-school funk tune whose name I couldn't put my finger on when I initially heard it) and the groovy 7+ minute title track itself, where Ernest spreads the first of his many down-to-earth messages of encouragement—here, to simply appreciate living your life. Then there's "Change", a middle tempo dance/pop cut with a cool beat I like that's got some empowering words of wisdom as well. The highlight on this one has gotta be that wailing soul diva's voice (I still believe it's Phoebe Snow here) whenever she echoes the word 'change' in the main chorus. Then there's a trio of romantic treats that I find quite lovely: "I Still Love You", where Ernest's high voice against the soft melody makes every word of the romantic lyrics a sweet moment; "You Make Me Weak", and the sunny concluding cut, "Lay Down My Life", where Ernest puts his whole heart on the line and vows that he would do anything for the one he loves. I should've put the latter of this trio in that same special grouping of songs I mentioned earlier where the vocals shined immensely, because the backup singers single-handedly put a monumental exclamation point on at the end! Love hearing them going acapella with the beat drop, too! Yet the album's sweetest treat has to be Ernest's surprise dance remake of the "Jekyll & Hyde" Broadway musical classic, "This Is The Moment" (coupled with a mostly-instrumental second part called "Moment To Moment Suite"). And with the mentioning of that, I exit stage left so that you can now have front-row seats to the HI-NRG star's opening full-length presentation:

1. Overture To Ernest/Moment To Moment
2. The Importance Of Being
3. Change
4. Love Changes
5. Love Has Taken Over
6. Only You
7. Fugitive Of Love [Duet With Phoebe Snow]
8. I Still Love You
9. Set Your Spirit Free
10. You Make Me Weak
11. Live It Up
12. This Is The Moment/Moment To Moment Suite
13. Lay Down My Life

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