Thursday, September 25, 2014

4OUR LIKE US-The Job (1998)

ORIGINAL POSTING DATE: September 25, 2014

There was the British pop/rock band MILLIONS LIKE US who made millions of listeners happy back in 1987, and then there was the Danish pop/rock troupe 4 LIKE US (stylized as '4OUR') who made millions of listeners happy back in 1998. Make that a million and one listeners, because the music on their one and only full-length album, "The Job", has made me happy, too! And I'm sure by the time I've finished raving about it, millions more will be added to that running count! My continued Europop explorations somehow led me to discover this sensational gem, and the moment I sampled the opening track, "I Wish It Would Rain", I knew that this was something I absolutely needed to have for my music collection! Given my endless adoration for cover songs, some of you might already be thinking 4OUR LIKE US' "I Wish It Would Rain" is a remake of the similarly-titled 1989 Phil Collins hit or the 1992 Johnny Logan power ballad by the exact same name (both of those are terrific songs, with me having had the pleasure again of hearing the latter a lot in recent weeks), but I gotcha this time! Although the theme has similar melancholy overtones, the lyrics ('blue sky, don't need you here today' is one of my favorite lines) and the arrangement are completely different (I myself got instantly swallowed up by the melody), while the vocals of everyone contributing—particularly the leads of two male members of the group, Kenny Lübcke and Peter Busborg—being spectacular! Yet again, another great song with the word 'rain' in its title, and the four or five times I've already gone around with it surely won't be enough! It could rain down me all day long if it wanted to! From there, the Danish foursome keeps on getting the job done with strong performance after strong performance after STRONG PERFORMANCE! The negative emotions are still swirling in the air on the lively tune "Leave My Heart Alone" and the album's first stunning ballad, "Sue Me If I'm Wrong", where the lyrics really make you get inside the head of the songwriter. "I Still Need Your Love" is still making me say 'wow!' some 40+ minutes after I've listened to it! Kenny Lübcke or Peter Busborg: one of these two guys has got an amazing soulful voice when it's soaring high and lofty; guess that declaration of needing that love is made loud and clear! If I'd sampled "Fallen Angel" as I did with "I Wish It Would Rain", I surely would've immediately fallen in love it before hearing in its entirely all the same! That opening movement with the 'na na na na na na' and the 'ooooh-ing' of the background singers—got me hooked in no time flat! And this time, one of the Moe sisters of the group, Lei, leads the way, and she's got some powerful chords to show off herself! I like whenever one of the sisters echoes 'I fell in love' in such a shrill tone that it pierced my heart! "Hot Afternoon" is such a hot track that it sizzles! Kinda ironic, as the song has a cool, breezy jazz vibe about it (uh-oh, there's that 'J' word again, so you know I had to favor this one, too) with a touch of blues and some scintillating organ playing, all creating a deceptively steamy backdrop for the seductive nature of the song. Coasting along after that is the warming acoustic guitar piece, "You Came With The Sun", before the music explodes with the hard-rockin' "It's A Mayday" (they do some serious high-energy jammin' on this one!). I like it when they funk things up a bit on "The Watchtower" (you can really get inside the mind of a man taking in the lyrics here) and "Prettiest Face", then pour on the heavy rock a second time with the blazin' title track (terrific sound, and the lyrics, which relate to what a man and a woman have to go through, are simply fun). You like sweet treats? There's a couple of tasty ones wrapped up for you on the slowed-down numbers "Sweet Emily" and "Lullaby (Nattie's Song)". That finishes my job in reviewing this sparkling jewel of an album; now you've got a job to do in tuning in to this album for yourself:

1. I Wish It Would Rain
2. Leave My Heart Alone
3. Sue Me If I'm Wrong
4. I Still Need Your Love
5. Fallen Angel
6. Hot Afternoon
7. You Came With The Sun
8. It's A Mayday
9. Sweet Emily
10. The Watchtower
11. Like A Fire
12. Prettiest Face
13. The Job
14. Lullaby (Nattie's Song)

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