Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Ray Horton-First Time (1999)


'Feels like the first time. Feels like the very first time.' I always like to quote lyrics from my favorite songs as a lead-in to my posts—in this case, FOREIGNER's 1977 hit entitled with those exact beginning words. Because that's kinda how I it seems with the German singer/songwriter Rayland Horton (think he just prefers 'Ray' instead of 'Rayland'), who was once a member of the reformed 90's group, THE REAL MILLI VANILLI. I'm almost positive I've listened to them a few times in my past, but then again, I'm not, as I don't recall recognizing Ray's voice amongst the crowd. So, let's just go ahead and make tonight the first time I'm hearing the German singer with his debut solo album entitled, appropriately, "First Time". Europe's most romantic singer: a prestigious and well-deserved title given to him, as I read in the opening paragraph to his official website at http://www.raylandhorton.com/Artist. You can feel the romance bubbling and brewing right off the bat all throughout Ray's marvelous cover of Freestyle King Stevie B.'s "Because I Love You". Doesn't it sound great with his powerful voice and the refreshing r&b rhythm? The 'T.E.T. Remix' found near the end of the album sounds closer to the Stevie B. original with the dancey Freestyle beat kicking in after the ambiance and beat drop of the beginning moments, but each of the two versions sound very nice! Anybody's version with that same warming melody and memorable lyrics sounds very nice! Even more refreshing is the sunny tune, "I'm In Love". These kinds of positive love songs are always a delight, especially when accompanied by a light acoustic guitar. Looking for your next 'Slow Jam Of The Night'? Search no more; I've got it right here for you on Track #6's "Back Of The Club". Sounds more like an after-7-o'clock jam for the back of the bedroom than for the back of the club, taking in the soft orchestral overtures playing beneath the chilled r&b groove while the German singer puts on the smooth moves to get that lady to go back with him to the bedroom. Bold and true are his feelings on the upbeat jam "I'm Gonna Give It To You". I really like the dance/pop production and the hint of urban swing infused into his one, causing me to think about any number of songs by my favorite boybands of the mid-90's. Following that are two of this album's most beautiful offerings back to back. There's "Don't Want Nobody", which I see as the 'reverse' r&b remake of THE BEE GEES classic "If I Can't Have You" in a revamped r&b format—reverse, because of Ray singing his main lyrics as 'I don't want nobody if I can't have you' instead of 'if I can't have you, I don't want nobody baby'. And then there's "Thank The Angel", which proves once again that songs about angels always are a wonderful listen. So after my first real time at listening to the former REAL MILLI VANILLI star, all I have left to say is that this Ray Horton is amazing, and that's just real talk:

1. Because I Love You
2. I'm In Love
3. I Cry
4. It Doesn't Matter
5. Tell My Heart
6. Back Of The Club
7. I'm Gonna Give It To You
8. Don't Want Nobody
9. Thank The Angel
10. Because I Love You (T.E.T. Remix)
11. Tell My Heart (Acoustic Version)

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