Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Michael Fortunati-Dreamin' (1997)


'It's not a dream; it's the burning zone!' That quotation was taken directly from a televised promo of an episode of "The Burning Zone" that I remembered from nearly a couple of decades ago while tuning in to an old episode of "Star Trek: Voyager" during the commercial break. Somehow, it seemed to be a very appropriate beginning for my second review of Italo-disco singer Michael Fortunati. That album of his called "Fire" that I checked out at the end of June? Well, it's got nothing on Mike's final studio album, 1997's "Dreamin'"! May as well have been titled "Blazin'", because somebody turned up the heat on that signature 80's Italo-disco and turned it into some explosive, super high-octane Eurodance whose ultra-glitzy beats and rhythms will get you charged up and racing faster than any energy drink, adrenaline pill or caffeine rush can! Funny that I mention that, as I was drowning a whole 32-ounce bottle of a delicious, caffeine-filled cappuccino protein drink while I was listening to this album.....and didn't even feel any effects of it! The music was all the adrenaline I needed, getting fired-up with the opener "Bang Bang". The tempo to this song is so FAST! Then before the smoke even clears, the Italo-disco singer is already burning again as his blood boils in anger on "Why Don't You Go?". Think he's not completely fed up with whoever that woman he's singing about here? The main chorus is super-catchy, easily identifiable by the sing-along lyrics 'why don't you go?, oh-oh-way-oh'. In fact, the music never slows down after the first shots are fired on "Bang Bang"—not even for an instant! Following the high-speed jam "Give Me All The Nights", it's the nearly inaudible thriller "Japanese Girls And Boys". Frankly, the title itself are the only words I could really understand in my first time listening to it, but I sure got a kick out of the beat—by far, one of the coolest beats I've heard in a dance song this month! From one of the coolest beats to one of the most romantic dance songs I've heard all month: "Miss You". The techno glitz and the melody are so nice here, appropriate for a song that's as sweet as this one; the music just sticks to me like glue! One of my favorites from this album for sure, plus the follow-up cut "Give Me Up Disco", whose ultra-groovy disco rhythm, synthesized clapping and the snazzy piano-playing midway through mold it into like the ultimate dance feel-gooder! And I thoroughly enjoyed those long, extended instrumental moments after he says 'let the bass kick'. There's no question that "(Don't You) Want My Love?" is full of emotional fire. Excellent vocals on this passionate piece that's sure to get you pumped in a heartbeat! Although that 80's Italo-disco sound is masked by the 90's Eurodance style production for the most part, I did notice a hint of the former on "Kiss Me Love", another winner in the collection of sweet, romantic pieces from this album. A good idea on both Fortunati's and the producers' part to tone it down a notch and infuse a more softer, tender approach into the music's flow. So if there was a low-key point, this would be it. But that fire's still ablazin' heading deeper into the inferno with even more high-octane thrillers such as "Dream Tonight", the celebratory "What A Night" and one that I had a lot of fun with, "Angelina" (wow—he must've really been crazy head over heels for this lady!). The only thing I have left to say about this smokin' album is 'goodness gracious, great balls of fire!', to quote the memorable line from the 1957 Jerry Lee Lewis classic, because Michael Fortunati is on fire!!!

1. Bang Bang
2. Why Don't You Go?
3. Give Me All The Nights
4. Japanese Girls And Boys
5. Miss You
6. Give Me Up Disco
7. (Don't You) Want My Love?
8. Dreamin'
9. Kiss Me Love
10. What A Night
11. Dream Tonight
12. Gimme Love
13. I'll Never Cry
14. Angelina
15. At The Time Of Christmas Carol

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