Tuesday, August 5, 2014


TRIO RIO-Trio Rio (1986)


ORIGINAL POSTING DATE: August 5, 2014

This next music goodie is not exactly among the 'loose ends' left for me to tie up, but there was no way it was going to be left hanging around in my collection with the latest one of my music addictions from it still buzzing around through my ears! That would be the festive feel-good jam, "New York - Rio - Tokyo"—an early hit by the German band known as TRIO RIO, who should not be confused with the indie world/fusion band named, in the exact reverse, RIO TRIO. Doesn't take me very long at all to get hooked onto "New York - Rio - Tokyo". The merrily jazzed-up melody (the opening overture mixed in with the rock has this triumphant, majestic punch that makes me think about those songs used for the Olympics) and the catchy dance beat—yeah, the music makes me feel like dancing all around the world! It's those jazzy overtones and dancey rhythms, in fact, that attracts me to TRIO RIO's 1986 self-titled debut. The attraction had started shortly before the aforementioned hit with the opener, "Be A Shining Light". The unusual, quirky beat to that one—a cool, 80's new wave-sorta fusion of jazz, pop and light rock—and lead singer Peter Fessler's yawning vocals (I like when he shows it off at the end when it soars up to the high heavens) makes me think about a few of the songs I've heard before by British music icon Joe Jackson, namely his 1984 hit "You Can't Get What You Want (Till You Know What You Want)". "New York - Rio - Tokyo" is the first romantically magical moment on this album; the next is the song that comes right after it: "I'm Still In Love With You". This beauty of a piano ballad with its backing orchestral overtures breathes romance all the way through. Then it's back to the party festivities with "I Don't Know" (the cheerful jazz accompaniment certainly brought me a lot a cheer!), the curiously-entitled "Um" (that Spanish rhythm makes me feel like dancing every time) and "The Bright Neon Lights", where the sunny Caribbean cruise melody and the conga drums win me over. "Hey - Man In The Moon" is a very nice selection, too—another addition to my growing catalog of 'important songs for the people', as the lyrics pit the songwriter engaging in conversation with nameless individual up in the stratosphere and asking him any number of questions about the state of our world. Love that extended instrumental sequence with the looping of the singing of 'far away' with that light touch of jazz screaming in the background, and hearing the children speak a few lines in the final movements adds a special touch. Sometime after you've danced all around "New York - Rio - Tokyo", you can finally settle down and conclude your travels with the peaceful ambient piece, "San Francisco Eve" which, like "I'm Still In Love With You", is a really good treat for the easy-listening audience. Happy melodies, groovy beats, good vocals—this TRIO RIO's got the trifecta of all three ingredients bubbling all through this album:

1. Be A Shining Light
2. New York - Rio - Tokyo
3. I'm Still In Love With You
4. I Don't Know
5. Hey - Man In The Moon
6. Um
7. The Bright Neon Lights
8. San Francisco Eve

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