Monday, November 3, 2014

Kristine W-Perfect Beat (1994)


A perfect time for a perfect beat! Tonight, I'm getting back into the swing of things with some after-Halloween sweet treats, starting with this rare debut album by the lovely pop/HI-NRG sensation Kristine Weltz, more popularly known by her shortened stage name, Kristine W. I can't say that I grew up idolizing her like I did with many of my other favorite pop artists from the 80's; in fact, I didn't even even know about her while growing up in the 80's! But it's always a wonderful feeling when you dig up some good tunes that were recorded in your yester-years and it still sounds good in this present age of music. According to the CD's production notes printed on the insert, "Perfect Beat" was originally released back in 1984, so if you'd wondered why the songs here have that spunky 80's synthpop feel to them despite the release date of 1994, that would be the reason. A perfect way to start off any 80's pop album is something really easy to catch on to, and that would be the opener, "Do You Really Want Me?". I'm reminded of 80's Freestyle when I listen to this one, and I'd maintain that same way of thinking later on in the album. Not having been a seasoned Kristine W listener, I was in awe when her voice becomes high and lofty towards the end of "Give Me Tonite". And that lofty voice is shown off at least a few other times, particularly on the slow-tempo jam "Call On Me". The title track is definitely one of the album's sweetest moments, and it's not just the actual beat itself that I found 'perfect', even though I'm a sucker for that soft keyboard/flute combo that creates the warming background melody. And you get the sugar with the spice later on with the pair of extra mixes that comprised two-thirds of the 'Bonus Cuts', which I presume were added for the 1994 re-issue. "Follow Your Heart" is one that I treasure in my heart; I just like the slightly jazzed-up, funky way the music swings and moves here. Talk about a song with a perfect beat! And that lofty, fluttering voice of Kristine's—such a delight when she sings the word 'heart' in the final pass. But there's nothing that I found more perfect than my #1 favorite, "This Love Was Meant To Be". Here's another where I'm reminded of 80's Freestyle, and I'm almost certain I've heard the music's twinkly synthesized arrangement sometime before. If that one didn't stand as my #1, then the romantic "Love So Right" surely would have. The breezy groove and the piano give the song a magical, dreamy feeling that you'd love to bask in all night long. I can't help but to get feelings of 80's nostalgia listening to these types of dreamy songs, because they sound like the ones I heard on the radio all the time when I was a kid. Then as a special bonus afterthe bonus, I've included a couple of cuts found on special sixteen-track re-releases: "Head Games" (not a cover of the rockin' FOREIGNER classic, but a spunky dance-pop goodie that'll get you hooked, particularly with those distorted vocals echoing in sync with the beat) and the Freestyle/house-sounding "Easy Come Easy Go", whose minimal lyrics and mostly drum n' bass arrangement make it an companion (maintaining the theme of the album's title and my review there) for the HI-NRG music lovers:

1. Do You Really Want Me
2. Give Me Tonite
3. Perfect Beat
4. No One Can Tell Me
5. Call On Me
6. Follow Your Heart
7. Crazy About You
8. This Love Was Meant To Be
9. Distant Lover
10. Love So Right

Bonus Cuts

11. Give Me Tonite (Remix)
12. Perfect Beat (Hyped Mix)
13. Perfect Beat (C-Note's Dance Mix)

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

14. Head Games
15. Easy Come Easy Go

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