Wednesday, September 3, 2014

CARTER TWINS-Number One (1997)

ORIGINAL POSTING DATE: September 3, 2014

For my very first post for this month of September, I thought I would share the very first album by the THE CARTER TWINS. 'The Carter Twins? Who are they?' I bet some of you out there are wondering. Well, I can tell you they're definitely not Nick Carter (of BACKSTREET BOYS fame) and his younger sib Aaron Carter; nor are they the Ohio-based country music band who formerly went by the same name, but now are known as KINGSTON. They're identical twins Stephen and Tony Carter, an obscure Irish pop duo that spent an abbreviated amount of time in the music spotlight in the 90's at the peak of the boyband era. Luckily, I was able to dig these guys up from the depths of pop obscurity before they and their only known collection of recordings vanished off the face of the earth because they sound so great together! And they did some 'digging up' themselves by resurrecting a handful of golden classics and sprucing them up with some modernized slick production, beginning with their remake of CLIMIE FISHER's "Love Changes Everything". A crisp 90's dance-pop beat with that familiar 80's synthpop sound—that describes what my ears took in listening to this album's opener and does this memorable hit all the justice that it deserves. I've always liked that 'doo doo doo doo doo' part of the spirited main chorus voiced by the backup singers. The next to be resurrected is an old soul classic that was also a childhood favorite of mine: KOOL & THE GANG's "Cherish". The last remake of it that I heard was by the Freestyle trio CLEAR TOUCH. And now I get the CARTER TWINS' remake of it, sounding better than ever before with the upbeat jazzy rhythm (you know I have to favor these tunes with the smooth jazz instrumentals backing up the rhythm, cover song or not). The third resurrection? A song I'm sure I've heard dozens of times, but can never really remember the words nor how the beat goes: "The Twelfth Of Never". I'm positively sure I've heard at least Donny Osmond's remake of the Johnny Mathis original; there's gotta be some others I've heard, too. But this Irish duo does an excellent job at delivering this romantic classic, which gets a lovely retro zing from the backing orchestral production. The fourth golden oldie to be resurrected is one that I've honestly never heard until today: "Hey Girl Don't Bother Me", which was originally recorded by a vocal quintet known as THE TAMS. Knew it was a cover right off the bat, given the funky retro beat, which sounds like something that only could've come out of the 60's doo-wop era. It's funny, but the first thing I thought about when I read that title is that old rhyme song I first heard when I was a kid: "Shoo Fly". As in 'shoo fly, don't bother me'? Well, the lyrics pretty much have the same idea: leave me alone! But it's the woman who's the fly in this case. 'Stay outta my arms, don't try to use your charm', 'I'm afraid if I kiss you, I might not resist you'. 'Go away, come back another day': those are my favorite lines from the song. And now that I've suddenly become addicted to this short little song, I've gotta go back and listen to THE TAMS' original. The last golden oldie this Irish pop duo resurrected is one of the most definitive soul classics of my favorite decade: Peabo Bryson's "If Ever You're In My Arms Again", recorded way back in 1984. Never get tired of listening to this unforgettable romantic number. With it being the 90's, of course, the Twins surely had to liven this one up with that upbeat r&b/dance-pop style popularized by the boybands at that time. Sounds really good! There very well may be a few more goldie oldie resurrections hidden throughout this album, but they sure all sounded brand new to me. "When She Cries" shows the more mellower side of the Irish duo, a song where there's the pouring out of emotion in admittance for feeling sorrow whenever their girl is in emotional pain herself. "Don't Forget To Remember" is one of those warming songs with the dreamy melodies that I like and can drift off into space with all day long. It's sweet reflection, but bitter realization on the album's second mellow piece, "Too Right To Be Wrong", and just bitter altogether on "If You're Looking For A Way Out". Both are the nicest of slow numbers, with the latter ending in strong fashion vocally. And there's one that I like to declare as the 'just for fun' song on this album: "Mine Or Mine". A lot of the boyband-style dance-pop jams with the sweet love lyrics could be categorized this way. So if you thought this was a post about the BACKSTREET BOYS or the KINGSTON boys, don't be disappointed in the slightest, because these CARTER boys have got some great ear candy for you to enjoy all the same:

1. Love Changes Everything
2. When She Cries
3. Cherish
4. Don't Forget To Remember
5. The Twelfth Of Never
6. First Of May
7. Too Right To Be Wrong
8. One Last Kiss Goodbye
9. Hey Girl Don't Bother Me
10. Say You'll Be There
11. If You're Looking For A Way Out
12. Mine Or Mine
13. If Ever You're In My Arms Again
14. One Last Kiss Goodbye [12'' Dance Mix]

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