Tuesday, January 5, 2016

DREAMLOVERS-18 Hits III (2002)


Flying even higher tonight as I resume my flight with the Belgian boyband who started this heavenly music trek I've been on for the past week! Technically, "18 Hits III", the third studio album by these DREAMLOVERS guys, isn't my ninth after-Christmas present to myself, as it too was gifted to me by that same boyband lover who had generously gifted me their previous two. But in a way, it still serves as another after-Christmas present, one that I had unwrapped and started to indulge in a few days ago.....before I'd gone a bit offstage with my feature presentations on all of those other boybands I've been excitedly raving about. As I knew they would, they've fulfilled more of my pop music dreams yet again! I became 100% convinced that these guys could sing absolutely anything—anything from the wide world of music—and perform it with flying colors, when my ears tuned in to all of their remakes of familiar classic hits I'd heard a million times on the radio. It started with their awesome dance interpretation of Johnny Nash's "I Can See Clearly Now", which I've now played at least half-dozen times since I've started this third tour with these Belgian boys. Then boosting that notion even more was the countless replays I've enjoyed of THE EVERLY BROTHERS' timeless favorite, "Love Hurts" (such powerful stunning vocals by the guy on leads throughout this one!), "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" (this romantic classic almost puts me to tears because it's sung so beautifully, the minimal background production allowing their dynamite voices to be displayed on a high musical pedestal) and their thrilling dance remake of "Don't Leave Me This Way" (will forever love Thelma Houston's widely-recognized disco version from the 70's, but I love this version equally as much, sounding similar production-wise to Jimmy Somerville and THE COMMUNARDS' HI-NRG, electronic/synthpop version from the 80's). Speaking of high energy, there's plenty more of that happening throughout this album as well, particularly on the super-charged glitzy Eurodance jam that is Track #15's "Yeah", which I suspect is a DREAMLOVERS original and one that I personally will have to save to my 'Energy Mix' playlist for future indulging! "Just When I Needed You Most"—have played this one so many times, too. They perform these classic soft rock covers extremely well! Each listen to this one and their tender vocal harmony, with the slight dance/pop beat in the background adding some flavor, gets sweeter every time. Love when their voices join together on the mellow-licious (yes, another invented word!) singing of 'you' in main chorus, plus that instrumental break midway, which has a subtle Hawaiian island ring to it. The island sound is heard again on the concluding cut, "Give Me Your Hand". The Euro-disco beat in combination with the Hawaiian sound is really cool, though it still manages to have that classic 60's feel despite the modern beat. A very romantic song with simple romantic lyrics, their tender voices sweeping me away into the music. The most magnificent performances on this album, without a doubt, are when the stunning vocals soar to almighty heights. Those are best represented by Stop" (this one is definitely a cover of an old-school soul classic, but not sure who the original singer is?), "This Is The Moment" (took me a moment to realize it comes from the "Jekyll & Hyde" Broadway production, but knew it was from the world of theater) and their epic, New Age-sounding performance that is "In Love". If this compilation of eighteen hits really is a pop lover's dream, then it's one that I don't wanna wake up from anytime soon:

1. I Can See Clearly Now
2. Just When I Needed You Most
3. Love Hurts
4. To All The Girls I Loved Before
5. You Belong To My Heart
6. Love Is All
7. You Are
8. Stay A While
9. Don't Leave Me This Way
10. Stop
11. This Is The Moment
12. Memory
13. Can't Take My Eyes Off You
14. If You Go
15. Yeah
16. In Love
17. Forgive Me
18. Give Me Your Hand

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