Thursday, August 28, 2014

Paul Rein-Communicate (1986)


Switching back now to the decade where the music reigns supreme..... The voice of Swedish Italo-disco singer Paul Rein has been raining down on me for pretty much the past few hours.....while it's been literally raining, no less! Always fascinating how someone who is completely new to me has been such an influential force in the popular music scene or years, as my own explorations into Rein's biography reveals that he's previously written hits for the likes of Christina Aguilera, Jessica Simpson and Mandy Moore, to name a few. As for his own proper solo material, I'm getting in on the ground floor with his 1986 debut album, "Communicate". Well I certainly have LOTS to communicate myself after having listened to this goodie nearly three times through in less than 24 hours! Can't beat that catchy 80's synthpop production, so I got hooked to the album's breezy title track in a hurry, the lyrics proving that the simplest words have so much meaning when it comes to working things out in relationships. A nice touch adding in all of that garbled dialogue and other inaudible gibberish to complement the whole 'communication' theme. It became an instant favorite, and still reigns at the top of my favorites from this album thanks to the extended 'House Party Mix' included as one of the bonus cuts. Simple words with so much meaning? That would be "Sex", the title to another bonus cut that really should've been included with the regular album, considering that there's a little 30-second introductory snippet at the beginning: "Sex (The Final Version)". But you get all the good stuff on Track #14 with the groovy beat and listening to Paul talk about all of the delicious things he wants to do with his lady. In some ways, it's almost like the Italo-disco version of George Michael's "I Want Your Sex"; well, at least the theme and the playful style of the lyrics are similar. And that quirky rapping that Paul does about midway through reminds me why 80's music is so much fun. "Stop (Give It Up)" is your classic 'stop-playing-these-silly-love-games' tune. I like the way the beat moves here—a bit of a subtle bounce against the light, breezy rhythm. "Hold Back Your Love" is just the type of song I needed to whisk my mind back into a state of 80's nostalgia. It's all in the catchy synthpop beat, of course, but I particularly like the way the Swedish singer's voice gets all high and lofty in the main chorus. Nothing to feel sad about at all tuning in to my next favorite, "Baby Blue". Actually, I favor this one more than the title track itself; there's more of a funky rhythm to the beat and a melody that's just as nice. Too bad I haven't yet come across a remix of it. If there was something to be sad and blue about..... Definitely hear the Italo-disco influence all throughout "Show Me Tonight", one of Paul's strongest performances vocally, I'd say. I really like the sweet sound of the song's title being sung in the main chorus; hooks me right into the music. Good times all around on—what else?—"Good Times", the album's dancey tenth track, but they don't stop there. "Lady-O" is a lot of fun, too, because of its glitzy, pre-90's Eurodance feel and Paul's wailing vocals, notably in the song's beginning seconds and whenever he trails off singing 'whoo whoo' and 'lady-O' in the main chorus. Yet the song that reigns supreme above everything else I have 'communicated' to you about so far is the mega-groovy "Got To Get You". I was all caught up in the beat to this jam! So while Paul's busy trying to get the girl, the rhythm is busy trying to get you! I think I've pretty much communicated everything I wanted to about this gem of an album; all there's left to do is open up the audio lines and let Paul Rein and his music communicate to you:

1. Sex (The Final Version)
2. Communicate
3. I Can't Understand
4. Stop (Give It Up)
5. Hold Back Your Love
6. Baby Blue
7. Show Me Tonight
8. Dreamin'
9. Got To Get You
10. Good Times
11. Lady-O
12. Stop (Give It Up) [A Cappella]
13. I Can't Understand [12'' Version]

*****BONUS TRACKS*****

14. Sex
15. Communicate [House Party Mix]
16. Hold Back Your Love [Energy Mix]
17. Good Times [Special 12'' Version]
18. Lady-O [Extended Version]

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