Thursday, January 7, 2016

DREAMLOVERS-20 Hits 4 (2003)


71—that's the magic number going into the last hurrah with this Belgian dream team! According to my calculations, '71' becomes the grand total of DREAMLOVERS hits that I've heard over the past two weeks since indulging myself with their four studio albums; now that's a ton of music! And as I've done with their previous compilations, I have to start by raving about the pair of hits that made my pop music dreams come true first! Got all sorts of excited knowing that they would do a marvelous job delivering their rendition of "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You", a song I know extremely well, as it's the amazing soft rock radio ballad made famous by my favorite Canadian rocker, Bryan Adams. Even more proof that these guys can sing anything in the world and perform it with flying colors! An excellent touch that the instrumental guitar break—keeping the rock element in there&mash;is included midway through, just like on the 1991 original featured on the "Robin Hood" Prince Of Thieves" soundtrack. Crazy wild that I got to hear yet another awesome cover of YAZOO's "Only You"! With all of the brilliant hits this Belgian dream team have remade, and considering I've been hearing so many versions of this song over the past year (after not ever growing up hearing the YAZOO original until well into my adulthood), I literally had to stop what I was doing check to make sure I hadn't heard them sing it already on their three previous albums. Nope—my second surprise of this 20-hit compilation, which I loved even more because of it's exciting, ultra-glitzy Europop production! Know what else is exciting? More of their thrilling dance jams, of course, which consists of "If You Could Read My Mind", their lovely interpretation of Dean Martin's "Return To Me" (don't know the original, but they've totally got that romantic crooner element going on here), "I Will", "Wonderful Life" (the hook to this song is simply too catchy to ignore!), and the fun duo that closes out the album: "Love Me" (100% pure sunny Eurodance this happily lofty song is!) and "Every Time My Heart Beats" (digging that funky electronic accompaniment to the thumping dance beat). Then there's the darling lineup of selections that are destined for all of the helpless romantics out there, led off with the starry opener, "When I Fall In Love" (now I suddenly have the desire of hearing the Nat King Cole original!), with "You Don't Have To Say You Love Me", "I'll Always Be There" (I've become so fond of these epic, showstopping ballad performances where they let their almighty voices soar!), "And I Love You So" and, perhaps, the heaviest heart-thumper of the lineup, "Perhaps Love" (the most beautiful melody and some of the loveliest lyrics I've heard already this 2016 year are featured here; I wonder how many lonely hearts late John Denver captivated when he recorded his original?). There's the unforgettable classic "Love Hurts",which this Belgian dream mastered on the previous album, and then there's just plain "Hurt". After the bluesy sway of the rhythm pulls me into the music, the amazingly soaring vocals by the guy on lead blows me away! Once more, a song with the simplest lyrics—'I will never hurt you' is the message here—that turns out being among the top performances of all! Every bit as charming is "The Rose". I like how this one glides along so nicely until the big instrumental break and beat drop, which slides into the magnificent closeout movement featuring the Belgian dream team's collective voices chiming together with the infectious 'ba-da-bum-bum, ba-da-bum-bum, ba-da-bum-bum'. So in the spirit of 'hits' and such, I thought I would make my own closeout movement—of this review, that is—by stating something inspired by both a memorable CROWDED HOUSE hit and a recent Katy Perry hit: don't dream it's over—with these Belgian guys, that is—because every time you listen to one of their albums, you'll be wide awake with them time and time again:

1. When I Fall In Love
2. You Don't Have To Say You Love Me
3. Crying
4. If You Could Read My Mind
5. My Special Angel
6. I'll Always Be There
7. Feelings
8. Return To Me
9. Perhaps Love
10. (Everything I Do) I Do It For You
11. The Rose
12. Wonderful Life
13. And I Love You So
14. Hurt
15. I Will
16. Only You
17. Stranger In Paradise
18. I Will Stay
19. Love Me
20. Every Time My Heart Beats

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