Tuesday, October 27, 2015

B-POZITIVE - Natural (1991)


ORIGINAL POSTING DATE: October 27, 2015

I'm almost 100% positive that nobody in my music circles has heard of the next artist I'm about to present: B-POZITIVE. I happened upon this obscure synthpop group during some past music browsing, being positively sure that I would like the music contained on their first and only known album, "Natural". Now I can say with confidence that my natural curiosity paid dividends, having just treated my ears to these entertaining tunes for the past hour plus! Wouldn't it be heaven on earth if the music of today sounded a lot like the track by the same title that kicks off this album? The first three-and-a-half minutes of this fourteen-track thrill ride is a jam to rock the house, yet it's about three-and-half too short, wishing it had lasted much longer (I get that feeling with so many of these early-90's house jams). And it was on that opener where the dynamic vocals of lead singer Oliver Rosenberger (nice to have the CD booklet handy to know the names and roles of these individual group members) began to grow on me. Something I sorely miss about 90's music: that light-hearted, positive and uplifting early hip-hop sound that made ordinary pop songs into fun, spiced-up jams and turned ordinary uptempo grooves into club-worthy dance cuts. The hip-hop is alive and well all throughout this album, highlighted by "Love Is Like Oxygen"—'you get too much, you get too high', as the truth-be-telling lyrics go—where a guest female vocalist chimes in, "The Way You Make Me Feel" (a song that's totally not positive, as the songwriter confesses his grief of being treated so badly and feeling sad) and "Don't Fall In Love" (Oliver's not being very positive here either, considering all of the warnings he gives regarding his messed-up, troubled heart). Now that I think about it, there's quite a lot of negativity felt in these songs—even on Track #3's "Money" (cash is a good, thing, right?), which tells a story about a woman who only wants her love to be bought by material things, and "(Watcha Gonna Do) When It's Over", which is all about the common case of 'where do we go from here once our love affair has ended?'. Though the excellent production on each is something positive to be appreciated: the drum n' bass rhythm and swirly cosmic ambiance during the introductory movement of the former and the dreamy, ambient downtempo groove of the latter (I especially was digging the deep bass line and the distinctive chords of the guitar accompanying the music during the extended instrumental break). Appreciation is right—for the album's lone but wonderful ballad simply entitled "You", because it's here where my ears admired Oliver's dynamic vocals the most. If I hadn't paid attention to how gritty and powerful his singing was prior, I surely noticed it here! But it's more than the voice that I admired; the sincere, moving lyrics are very charming while the bluesy sway of the slow-tempo rhythm serve as the perfect backdrop. Yet I would enjoy my most thrilling moment three tracks later with "Let Me Be The One", Classic straight up 90's-style house on his mega-jam! And you know what? Here's another one that I felt was waaaaaaaaaaaaaay to short! Oh well—just an excuse to have to listen to it at least three or four ties over until my heart's content. Before the thrill ride ended, though, I got another fun treat taking in the funky house party that is the instrumental cut "Don't Stop - It's Business", which features a really cool 'whistle melody' accompanying the dance rhythm. I'm not so sure if this Oliver Rosenberger-fronted synthpop group ever made it big anytime during their short existence, but I am positive that music lovers will find that this oldie from more than two decades ago is still a goodie:

1. Heaven On Earth
2. Love Is Like Oxygen
3. Money
4. Change The World
5. I'm Gonna Get You
6. The Way You Make Me Feel
7. Time Goes By
8. You
9. (Watcha Gonna Do) When It's Over
10. Alright
11. Let Me Be The One
12. Don't Fall In Love
13. Don't Stop - It's Business
14. Natural Theme

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