Saturday, November 7, 2015

UNION J-You Got It All: The Album (2014)


The same thrilling trio of artists and highly-addicting albums that have constantly been spinning around in my mental jukebox over the past couple of weeks consists of Phil Collins' and his "No Jacket Required" (which I've just raved about); "American Idol" runner-up Adam Lambert and his newest CD, "The Original High"; and the English boyband UNION J and their newest CD, "You Got I All: The Album". I recall having listened to UNION J's self-titled debut album, but it certainly did not get nearly the quantity of extensive replays as the one UNION J released last year; I think it's been at least over a half dozen of replays for this one, too? Even with all of the competition for my listening attention UNION J has been receiving from my continued replays of Phil Collins and Adam Lambert—not to mention a few other artists that I've gotten hooked onto from listening to the playlists on my car stereo, including THE POINTER SISTERS and the synthpop group that calls itself VITAMIN Z—the songs by this English boyband have remained at the forefront of my mind because they the guys sound so good! And you probably already know the one song they perform here on this album that got me excited in a heartbeat: their dazzling cover of Bonnie Raitt's "I Can't Make You Love Me". The familiar folk/bluesy delivery of the Bonnie's 1991 original is surely what made it the timeless soft rock radio gem that it continues to be even unto this day, yet UNION J's more modern, glitzy pop remake is a gem all in itself as well, a reminder that it's perfectly okay to rejuvenate a blast from the past. What I especially love is that their remake gets an additional boost from the unified soulful background vocalists when the song moves to the memorable hook. 'I can't make your heart feel something that it won't, here in the dark, in this final hour, I will lay down my heart....'—I just love those lyrics! Besides that dazzling performance, there's so many other thrills here on this album that have filled my ears: "Tonight (We Live Forever)", "All About A Girl", "Midnight Train" (absolutely terrific dance cut!), "Yolo", "Get It Right"..... "Midnight Train" currently stands as my #2 (the production is simply awesome, the twinkly melody causing me to think about the electronic music from a level on the Nintendo Gameboy title, "Super Mario Land 2: Six Golden Coins". "Yolo" has to be my #3, and in case you wonder what 'Yolo' means, it is actually an acronym for the main lyrics of the song: 'you only live once'. The warming acoustic guitar-driven dance cut, "Get It Right", is perhaps my #4 (I like the beat and their mellow voices), but then I like "Tonight (We Live Forever)" so much (the album's opening cut had actually stuck inside my head for days until "Yolo" and "Midnight Train" took over) and "All About A Girl" equally as much as well. The guys even perform a beautiful rendition of the traditional holiday standard, "It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas". And on that note, maybe it really is starting to feel like Christmas around here with all of the wonderful music my ears have been gifted lately:

1. Tonight (We Live Forever)
2. You Got It All
3. All About A Girl
4. One More Time
5. Together
6. I Can't Make You Love Me
7. She's In My Head
8. Midnight Train
9. I Love To Watch You Sleep
10. Central Park
11. Girl Like You
12. Yolo
13. Get It Right
14. Song For You And I
15. It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

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