Monday, December 21, 2015

DREAMLOVERS-15 Hits (2000)

ORIGINAL POSTING DATE: December 21, 2015

You like holiday gifts? Well here is a pop lover's dream and a boyband lover's dream all wrapped into one nice package! Once again, just when I thought that I had virtually reached the bottom of the boyband barrel that was filled up to the brim from the 90's up until the early 2000's, a fellow boyband lover springs this new surprise on me! The Belgian bunch that called itself DREAMLOVERS certainly will make somebody's music dreams come true tonight with their debut album aptly entitled "15 Hits". Either they must've already knew every one of the songs on this album would be a hit, or the title was inspired by the fact that most—if not all—of the fifteen songs here are remakes of memorable classics—there's truth in both statements! And for me personally, my listening experience was as educational as it was entertaining, as my referencing of many of these familiar classics led me to discover quite a few original artists whom I had never heard of before. The entertaining moments began as soon as I took in the awesome Europop beat and the dreamy, Far Eastern-inspired melody to the opener, "Always Be With You", which had this characteristic Thomas Anders/MODERN TALKING-like feel to it vocally. "Wonderful Tonight" is a truly wonderful rendition of the Eric Clapton classic; if I hadn't know it was an Eric Clapton song, I probably could've figured it out from the distinctive guitar tang infused into the music, the straining soul of the guy on lead vocals and thoughtful, romantic words being delivered, which totally suit Clapton's songwriting style. Had never heard of the country singer named Charley Rich, but I'm now motivated to know more about this artist after the beautiful three minutes I enjoyed with this Belgian boyband's ambitious take on "The Most Beautiful Girl". Just as ambitious is their remake of THE RIGHTEOUS BROTHERS' "Unchained Melody", a song that I've heard a gazillion times in my lifetime between the radio and the silver screen, a song every artist in popular music seems to have performed at some point or another. It's the soaring vocals is what totally makes this one stand out! "Sealed With A Kiss": Well this one gets the seal of approval from me! Everybody knows the darling, contemporary pop ballad version by Jason Donovan and Kylie Minogue, but this DREAMLOVERS version is a sweet treat from the ears just the same! "Nothing's Gonna Change My Love For You": I'd forgotten that jazz singer George Benson Nice to hear the collective vocals to this cover version. Smooth pop version with a bit of a beat. Forgot that jazz/soul phenom George Benson had performed the original before Glenn Medeiros performed his pop version-turned-soft rock radio staple a couple of years later. You get the same warming chords and memorable lyrics, but hearing their collective voices during the delivery of the last line of the main chorus adds an especially favorable touch. Fans of those tenderly mellow heart-charmers with the simple lyrics will fall in love with "It Must Be Love" while those who adore those more dramatic, showstoppers will find awe and satisfaction first with "You're My World" (love the bluesy swing, the doo-wop style arrangement and theatrical feel), then with "Only For You", which is absolutely epic with its twinkly orchestral overtures (the instrumentals are basically amazing all throughout!) and majestic words of tribute ('my heart, my hands, I'll give to the sands'—my favorite line from the song!). The pop lover's heart would be full and content with all of the aforementioned DREAMLOVERS hits, yet the dance lover would be aching for a lot more! The Belgian boys take care of that with the thrilling Eurodisco jams that are "The Way You Are" and "Let's Make Love", plus their glitzy Eurodance remake of "I Think We're Alone Now" (Miss Tiffany's signature version from the 80's ain't the only one that I love now!). They further make happy moments out of "Someone Loves You, Honey" (such a sweet, bouncy, cheerful tune this one is; it almost brings tears to the eyes) and the groovalicious "Girls", which is an old 70's funk/disco classic first recorded by THE MOMENTS with THE WHATNAUTS I've heard so many times on the urban radio stations (I always like that line where they sing about being on an island with all the girls that 'do them freaky things'). While there's those of us who may be dreaming of a white Christmas, there's some of us who are just dreaming of unwrapping musical gifts like this "15 Hits" album to make our holiday that much more special:

1. Always Be With You
2. Wonderful Tonight
3. The Most Beautiful Girl
4. Unchained Melody
5. The Way You Are
6. You're My World
7. Sealed With A Kiss
8. Someone Loves You, Honey
9. Look In My Eyes
10. I Think We're Alone Now
11. Nothing's Gonna Change My Love For You
12 Let's Make Love
13. Only For You
14. It Must Be Love
15. Girls

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