Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Jade 4U-Blue Angel (1991)


Let the perfect beats keep on playing! And the 90's was chock full of them, as it was the memorable house/Eurodance era where the music was designed to get everybody up and moving. The next after-Halloween treat to be served up is "Blue Angel", the third studio album by the Belgian/German project called Jade 4U. I say 'project', as there appears to be a shifting lineup of singers and producers who collaborate on their releases, although the actual moniker of 'Jade 4U' belongs to the female producer who is the mastermind behind it all, Cornelia "Nikkie" Anita Dominika Van Lierop (whew—that's a long name!). I don't know this Jade 4U project well enough to know if it's Nikkie herself or an invited session artist providing the vocals to the songs here on "Blue Angel", but the lady sure has some amazing chords to show off! The beats perfection get underway as soon as you get a taste of the groovy opener, "Do You Feel Love?". And right off the bat, I was thrust back into the 90's and wishing all over again that this memorable decade of music had never gone away. Then the follow-up track, which shares the same name as the project itself, did absolutely nothing to alleviate those feelings of nostalgia, thanks to its extremely catchy melody and even catchier hook, particularly the ending movement where she boasts 'I don't want no love, I don't want no pain, I don't want no guy to put me in no chains'. The whole 'same name' thing, by the way, had caused me to think about the many other songs I've heard throughout the years that also have the same names as the artists performing them: LIVING IN A BOX's "Living In A Box", BIG COUNTRY's "In A Big Country", COLOR ME BADD's "Color Me Badd" and, more recently coming to mind, "Deepest Blue" by the trance project called DEEPEST BLUE and "Madame X" by the Los Angeles-based all-girl 80's group called MADAME X (I'd been enjoying replays the latter while driving around in my car earlier this morning). I get fascinated by these little nuances. The beats stay up on "Ayudame" (hey, that's Spanish for 'help me'!, though the lyrics are performed entirely in English otherwise), "I Still Believe" (the singer's voice is so loud and piercing here; if you're gonna say that you still believe in love, then you may as well declare it loud and clear!), the funky house party that is "Wam Bam" (lots of fun times happening with this jam, and I like the way she goes 'everyone, uh-huh, dance along, uh-huh' in the same style that those unforgettable lyrics to "That's The Way (I Like It)" are sung by KC & THE SUNSHINE BAND on their 1975 hit), the HI-NRG cut "Wasted Love" and another fun jam, "Tonight's The Night" (that snazzy keyboard playing and those 90's horn calls—or whatever you'd like to call them—give the music that signature groovy house feel, though my favorite part about this jam is listening to the lady's storytelling of her adventures riding around in the guy's car in spoken word style). After a brief rest for "Mysteries Of Love", the beats stir back up with "I Think I Love You" and, my #1 favorite, "Nice And Easy" (the production gets an A+ from me, and it got rewarded further with a replay after I'd finished the album). The only real 'blue' moment on this album might be the concluding slow piece, "It's Over". It's bad enough that the lyrics are about breaking up, but the song itself sounds so dreary that it just might cause you to feel blue yourself. But that's alright; there's lots of other happier moments to enjoy that makes "Blue Angel" quite a heavenly listen:

1. Do You Feel Love?
2. Jade 4U
3. Ayudame
4. I Still Believe
5. Wam Bam
6. Wasted Love
7. Tonight's The Night
8. Mysteries Of Love
9. I Think I Love You
10. Nice And Easy
11. Out Of My Way
12. It's Over

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