Saturday, September 5, 2015

Paul Voudouris-It Takes Two (1993)

ORIGINAL POSTING DATE: September 5, 2015

Yep—still living in the 90's after my short little excursion with COOL NEW SOUND a couple of days ago. Well actually, I'm practically always living in the 90's.....when it comes to my music, that is. Tonight, I enjoyed my first tour with the Libyan-born, Greek soft rock artist named Paul Voudouris. I totally forget how and when exactly I first became aware of him, but I suspect it was during one of my recent explorations through the world of 90's synthpop. He and his 1993 effort, "It Takes Two", is yet another great discovery, if I must say so myself, as I became fond of him as soon as I took in the opening cut, "La-De-Da", a delightfully breezy, bouncy tune that introduced me to his soulful voice, one that reminds me very much so of fellow soul phenom Aaron Neville. "Tendency Toward Dependency": one of the coolest titles on this album, and also one of the best of the uptempo cuts overall; at least it's one of my personal favorites, as I 'tend' to like these types of pop songs altogether where the message of lyrics may apparent, even though it sounds great. Well the message on "Hannah" is very clear: the Greek singer loves this lady deeply and the poetic words of tribute back that statement up. The song shines all around, but especially because of beautiful production that consists of a warming slow groove and some sweet saxophone jazz accompanying the breezy melody. The songs with the simplest lyrics always seem to be so enjoyable, and that was the case when my ears took in "Everybody Falls In Love". There's a lot of truth in that title, and so is the inspirational line 'somebody's gonna find you' as well as everything he says in the first couple of verses, basically reminding the listener that no matter who or what or where you are, you'll fall in love eventually. "It Takes Two To Tango": another true statement, and another beauty of a song where Paul makes like a romantic crooner with the lovely Spanish guitar and the festive bossa nova rhythm filling your ears. A nice touch to add the sound of those castanets, a signature percussion instrument commonly featured in tango music. Perhaps a difference of opinion about "Isn't Love Stupid?", as some would disagree with those words. But if you heard the complete line in the album's seventh track, you'd soon think otherwise, as he says that love is stupid and fun. And he's right—that's just how it goes sometimes when you're madly in love without a care in the world, because love can cause you to do some pretty silly things. "Every Little Thing" has got to me one of the more darling soft rock gems I've heard in recent days. It has that magically mellow glow that makes you want to stay attached to it and tuned in to it all night long. Though the gem that glitters the most has to be the concluding piece, "The Breath Of Life". I had adored the lofty, ambient introductory movement to Track #6's "Boys An Girls", but the cinematic ambiance featured at the beginning and all throughout "The Breath Of Life" is marvelously epic, especially with the fluttery woodwind and Paul's stunning vocals, which are at their strongest here, guiding you through this breathtaking five-minute musical journey:

1. La-De-Da
2. Tendency Toward Dependency
3. Hannah
4. Everybody Falls In Love
5. It Takes Two To Tango
6. Boys Need Girls
7. Isn't Love Stupid?
8. The Lands Within
9. Things Change
10. Every Little Thing
11. The Breath Of Life

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