Friday, July 31, 2015

FIREVISION-The Game You Play (2003)


I am still tuned in to 'Eurovision' tonight—not that popular televised singing competition, which I like and have gotten hooked in recent years as much as I'd once gotten hooked onto USA's own "American Idol"—but FIREVISION, another synthpop duo hailing from the European continent whom my eyes came across while browsing through the post-New Millennium electronic music listings on the Discogs database. And keeping with the heme of 'visions' and such, I had envisioned FIREVISION's sound being close to that of the previously-featured ERASURE or other similar-style artists who started out in the 80's and haven't changed their sound too much over the years. Correct once again I was, at least in terms of production. But vocally? The distorted, partially-disguised vocals of this Finnish duo of Arttu Peljo and Mikko Tamminen give the tunes a more mechanical feel in contrast to the more melodically sweet vocals of Andy Bell, making me want to push FIREVISION's sound closer to that of THE PET SHOP BOYS and INFORMATION SOCIETY. Maybe the best comparison is to THE PET SHOP BOYS, taking into account the warm, sunny ambiances served up in the background on practically every track. Whatever way you see them, this duo's first and only album, "The Game You Play", is worth the 40+ minutes of CD play that you'll need in order to see this vision all the way through to the end if you're an 80's synthpop lover like I am! Immediately following the lofty daydream of an opener called "Stars", my ears would get dazzled by the album's awesome title track! Never mind that the lyrics, particularly the line that goes 'everything you do comes back to you' tell the tale of that classic toying-around-with-someone's-emotions-and-breaking-his-or-her-heart thing that so many people involved in romantic relationships are guilty of—not awesome!—but I love all of the other good stuff going on with the beat (that thunderous eruption in the main hook and the suspenseful melody—wow!), and that was enough for me to declare it as my #1 favorite. Showing off more of those dazzling production skills these guys do on the album's next trio: "Music Lover" (the tempo slows down to something more middle of the road, but the glitzy electro-rock sorta arrangement is so cool against the minimal vocals!), "Break Of Dawn" (I could tag this one as more like 'electro-chill' with its swirly ambiance and absolute zero vocals) and the track I'm assuming was inspired by the duo's name itself (this "Firevision" would make for some excellent background audio in a video game). Yet that totally 80's synthpop doesn't begin to show up until you've played "On My Own", "With You" (simple and sweet love songs—just like the 80's I remember so well, and a nice electro-funky beat spices the music up) and "Dreamer". There was 'electro-chill' before, and then there's 'electro-rock' on "Breath Of The UG" (I wonder what the 'UG' is?) and the intense jam "New Style" (I suppose the 'new' comes from the fact that there's some rap vocals and a more rougher hip-hop sound altogether), which has shades of those early 90's hip-house tunes coined by groups like C & C MUSIC FACTORY or MARKY MARK & THE FUNKY BUNCH:

1. Stars
2. The Game You Play
3. Music Lover
4. Break Of Dawn
5. Firevision
6. On My Own
7. Truth
8. Dreamer
9. With You
10. Breath Of The UG
11. New Style
12. This Moment

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