Tuesday, September 1, 2015

BANAROO-Bubblegum World (2013)


ORIGINAL POSTING DATE: September 1, 2015

More planet-hopping with the BANAROO crew as I fly with them to a place I hadn't yet explored with them until today: "Bubblegum World". Well, at least technically, as today marks my first time ever listening in on the German quartet's most recent studio album. But really, every one of my previous stops in BANAROO space has been a world full of bubblegum music. And that's still the case here; in fact, some of the bubblegum tastes very familiar, though with a few added ingredients. That last bit firstly refers to the opener, "Dubi Dam Dam", which was also the song opening up BANAROO's debut album. This '2013 Single Version' takes the bouncy Eurodance original and infuses it with some glitzy techno—a modernized makeover, if you will. Sounds really cool in its reinvented format. The same can be said about the new recording of "Space Cowboy". As for the other familiar-tasting bubblegum tunes, they would all be covers originally trademarked and manufactured by other bubblegum artists. There's the supremely catchy "1001 Arabian Nights", which I'd first heard by the Dutch bunch that called itself CH!PZ (yes, I remembered to insert the exclamation point), plus "Cartoon Heroes", which is a memorable favorite of mine by the Danish bunch well-known to the bubblegum pop world as AQUA (and this was my first 'Music Surprise Of The Day'). The popular 90's Italian Eurodance group EIFFEL 65 weren't exactly bubblegum, but in a way, perhaps their unforgettable radio hit "Blue (Da Ba Dee)" was. The BANAROO crew's remake of it became my second 'Music Surprise Of The Day'; glad that they did it total justice by having one of the guys of the group take on the lead vocals instead of one of the girls. But there's a few new pieces of bubblegum thrown into this machine that have to be savored. "Spirit Of The Hawk" casts shades of "Heya Comanchero" from the group's "Amazing" album; it's all of that ceremonial chanting going on with the guys doing the backing vocals, giving the song a tribal feeling and becoming too catchy to not get hooked to after so many loops. "Dub I Dub" is a fun trancey cut that plays like the title sounds—electronic dubbing with minimal vocals, as the way trance music is so designed. A couple of the bubblegum pieces might not be exactly bubblegum either—"Closer" and "Sometimes". Instead of the usual bouncy, skippy Europop, you get a more glitzy, contemporary electro-pop production that sounds light-years more mature than any of BANAROO's earlier recordings. A preview of the German quartet's future music style, perhaps? That awaits to be seen, but for now, the bubblegum machine is still cranking out the senseless sugary sweets:

1. Dubi Dam Dam [Single Version 2013]
2. Sing And Move
3. Spirit Of The Hawk
4. Space Cowboy
5. Closer
6. Dub I Dub
7. 1001 Arabian Nights
8. Gimme, Gimme, Gimme
9. Around The World (La La La La La)
10. Cartoon Heroes
11. Blue (Da Ba Dee)
12. Sometimes
13. Dubi Dam Dam [Radio Mix]

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