Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Peter Andre-Natural (1996)

ORIGINAL RE-POSTING DATE: September 10, 2014

From newly acquainting myself with one Andre to reacquainting myself with another Andre—it's another trip back down to Aussieland where I meet up one more time with pop/r&b star Peter Andre and his second studio album, "Natural". And with this continues my long renovation project I'd somewhat started a couple of years ago when I re-featured both CODE RED's "Crimson" and SKY's "Piece Of Paradise" after obtaining better quality editions of each.....then having much more to say about them. So expect these re-features from time to time. Except in the case of "Natural", it's finally having the complete album altogether: twelve tracks instead of the ten tracks that my previous version contained. Actually, thirteen tracks is more precise, because after the upbeat party jam "Turn It Up", you get a surprise treat when Pete throws down on his remake of the KOOL & THE GANG classic, "Get Down On It". Wow—wasn't I totally shocked the moment I heard that familiar funky rhythm! Sounds every bit as great as the 1981 original—even more so, I'd say, with the refreshing 90's dance beat. And is that some of the KOOL & THE GANG cast themselves providing the backup vocals to the memorable main chorus? Sure sounds like it! As "Turn It Up"/"Get Down On It" concludes this album with a bang, the leadoff track, "Flava", starts this album with a bang! This continues to be one of my all-time favorite Peter Andre tracks—an upbeat jam with that lovely new jack swing vibe, and one of many where he invites a guest to thrown down a rap or two midway through (I like that part where the rapper says 'I wanna rock with you just like Bobby Brown', referencing the long-time NEW EDITION star who's somebody I always associate with the new jack swing era). Then keeping things on the upbeat are the title track—a second all-time Peter Andre favorite of mine where the Aussie star sings about what comes naturally to a man who's in love—and the sweet, reggae-inspired "Mysterious Girl" which, to me, is sweeter than everything else you can sink your ears into on the album! Although another lovely song I often forget about, "Only One", ranks very close to "Mysterious Girl" on that list of favorites; I'm always the sucker for these mellow, romantic tunes, particularly when there's a good beat and a beautiful orchestral accompaniment moving along with the music. And the way he repeats 'the only one, the only one, the only one, the only one' in the man chorus—it just keeps me hooked! No more forgetting; I'm saving it to my 'Favorites' playlist forever! That, plus "Flava" and definitely "Mysterious Girl" (ooh, that song makes me feel so good). Then there's a few terrific places where one can really appreciate Pete's singing talents: the tender acoustic piano ballad, "You Are, Pt. 2" (curiously, I don't recall ever seeing or hearing a 'Part One' anywhere), "I Feel You" and the warming piece, "Message To My Girl", where he shows off his soaring voice. Almost forgot a couple of other upbeat jams that I really like: "Show U Somethin'" and "To The Top", the latter which dives into that new jack swing once more. So if you've listened to "Natural" before and remember how good it sounds, why don't you swing on back and get down with it again?

1. Flava
2. Natural
3. Mysterious Girl
4. I Feel You
5. You Are, Pt. 2
6. All I Ever wanted
7. Show U Somethin'
8. To The Top
9. Tell Me When
10. Only One
11. Message To My Girl
12. Turn It Up
PS. Get Down On It

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