Thursday, October 2, 2014

FIVE-Kingsize (2001)


All hail to the kings—the final studio album by this British boyband deserves more than just the royal treatment! I had such a blast playing it again for myself for the better part of the past couple of hours that this music has still got me pumped! It was the three-way collision course of memorable favorites, new rediscoveries and alternate remixes that made my 22-track fan-created edition of "Kingsize" the ultimate boyband experience! Well, not entirely fan-created. The first fifteen tracks comprise the original album, and then I had to go the extra mile to include the Japanese-only and Special Edition-only tracks, plus some singles and other cool remixes. So what musical blessings had the British kings bestowed upon its fans this time around? Open the gates to their kingdom to find out! The groovy Eurodisco-inspired "Let's Dance" is the key to those gates that gets the ball rolling, and I had to share the trio of club remixes to go along with it (the 'Allen Walker Re-Write' focuses on the rap portions of the song while the 'Maverick Monkey Mix' strips the main rhythm line and offers up some good drum 'n bass). If the kingdom opener ain't enough to get you up and movin', then perhaps a few rounds of "Rock The Party" will getcha (that retro beat sure got me!). And if that don't work, you've got all night to jam to "We're Going All Night (You Make Me High)" (that swirly electro ambiance is so cool here) and "Hear Me Now". The guys really rock the party hard on "Lay All Your Lovin' On Me" and on the bonus extra "1, 2, 3, 4, 5"; it's like "We Will Rock You" all over again! Speaking of rock, a few of the cuts here on "Kingsize" shift away from their traditional dance/pop sound in favor of a more laid-back, acoustic guitar pop that on could classify as easy-listening. That group includes the likes of "Closer To Me" (I just love the flow of this one—nice and smooth, with a delicate keyboard melody complementing the sentimental lyrics), "Let's Get It On", the lively "Take Your Chances On Me", the inspirational "C'mon, C'mon" (good beginning; great ending, and I love hearing the harmonica here) and "World Of Mine". Strangely, some of the best moments for me on this album now were all of the songs that I really didn't remember all that well the first time I'd hear them: "Something In The Air" (that twinkly, touch-tone dial melody and that smooth groove does it all for me here!), "All Around" (a cool upbeat jam where the boys basically proclaimed that they are kings of music and are here to rock your world!) and their monumentally epic ballad, "Feel The Love", where the accompanying soulful voices of the backing choir and the cheerful trumpet salutes in the final movements turn it into one king-sized performance all on its own! Yet the song that I would have to crown with a head of gold is the beautiful song found on select versions of the "Let's Dance" single: "Sometimes". Me forever being the sucker for those mellow, slow-tempo numbers with seamless harmony and nicely jazzed-up instrumentals attracted me to this one in a hurry! Then to cap off this majestic boyband adventure, take ten minutes and bow down to the cut that reigns supreme: the 'Ultimate Five Megamix'. I could list all eleven of the tracks that are included in this royal package of non-stop music, but I'll just say that, rest assured, all of the group's best hits, including "Let's Dance" and "Rock The Party", are well represented:

1. Let's Dance
2. Lay All Your Lovin' On Me
3. Rock The Party
4. Closer To Me
5. Hear Me Now
6. Let's Get It On
7. Feel The Love
8. We're Going All Night (You Make Me High)
9. Take Your Chances On Me
10. Something In The Air
11. Breakdown
12. On Top Of The World
13. C'mon C'mon
14. World Of Mine
15. All Around

*****BONUS TRACKS*****

16. The Heat
17. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
18. Sometimes
19. Let's Dance [Jewels And Stone Mix]
20. Let's Dance [Allen Walker Re-Write]
21. Let's Dance [The Maverick Monkey Mix]
22. Ultimate Five Megamix

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