Monday, February 29, 2016

JAM PLANET-Touch U (2000)

ORIGINAL POSTING DATE: February 29, 2016

So where in the galaxy have my music adventures taken me to now? Back once again to my favorite Scandinavian country of Sweden, where I locked myself inside the jam-packed world that is JAM PLANET and their first and only album called "Touch U". Well I must say that I was rather 'touched' myself the moment this rarity on my list of wishes was fulfilled—so much so that there was not a single star nor sun in the entire cosmos that could have brightened up my day any more! Before my rocket-ship journey to JAM PLANET even got off the ground, I had not established communications with any of this Eurodance group's inhabitants, preferring to hold off on hearing any of their music until I safely arrived at my destination. But there was at least one element that I had been excitedly looking forward to: their modern-day remake of "Owner Of A Lonely Heart", which I instantly recognized as the memorable 1983 hit and childhood favorite by the English rock band YES (and yes, that was that band's quirky name). Anticipation about hearing a song from the 80's in rejuvenated Eurodance format is one thing, but finally enjoying it through the speakers of my headphones last night was a whole different experience altogether! After the lady's wailing voice and the energetic beat slammed into my head for about the first minute, the electronically-synthesized chords of the familiar rock guitars that signaled the blasting off of the YES original jump-started my senses, further marveling at the way that same electronic synthesizing is used to digitally echo the lady's singing of the title lyrics. Of course, with me having peeked at the track-listing prior to my journey to JAM PLANET, I'd already gotten a glimpse of the 'Geezone Radio Mix', which became my next destination and promptly became the latest addition to my 'Energy Mix' playlist (even more production coolness with the glitzy digitized vocal effects happening here). I was totally in the zone at that point, setting a course backwards to Track #2's "Runaway". For a split second, I'd wondered if it would be a cover of BON JOVI's 1981 rockin' classic. From a lyrical point of view, it is, as the singer admitting she's been a party girl and having been the runaway herself. But everything familiar about the production is totally new, the Europop bounce that I recognize and adore in Swedish production making this particular "Runaway" a total runaway jam! It's that same Swedish Europop bounce and tantalizing beats in the production that sparked a thrill out of me while jamming to "Call Me", the explosively great "Dynamite" (wow—that voice of hers is what's dynamite here, wishing it could last all night as much as she wishes that love can), "If You Want Me" (her bold and beautiful voice is so great on this one, too!) and the dazzling instant catch that is "Living In A Dream" (that double-layered voice effect in the third part of the main chorus sparked a separate thrill all by itself, and yes—just like I did with "Owner Of A Lonely Heart", I'd jumped down to the 5+ minute 'Club Mix' to extend that heavenly dream a while longer). Re-fueling my Eurodance charge were the high-energy cuts "Carry On", the title track and especially "Key To My Heart", where her wailing divalicious house vocals are the star of this shining show! Then the tempo decelerates with the beats sliding into slow jam mode on "Cherry", which is a real sweet treat. 'The weather is sunny, let's go out a have some fun, cherry pie honey, let's make love under the sun': some of the most romantically delicious lyrics on this album with the breezy groove and the light Spanish guitar painting that picture perfect we're-alone-together-on-the-beach-in-our-own-private-paradise imagery. For as touching of a jam as "Cherry" is, plus the one three tracks later called "Here I Am", nothing touched me more than the mellow heart-charmer that is "Come Back". And with that, I blast off back into the cosmos and embark on my next music adventure, hoping that my rave reviews about JAM PLANET's "Touch U" has indeed touched you in some way:

1. Owner Of A Lonely Heart
2. Runaway
3. Call Me
4. Living In A Dream
5. Carry On
6. Touch U
7. Dynamite
8. Cherry
9. If You Want Me
10. Key To My Heart
11. Here I Am
12. Come Back
13. Living In A Dream [Club Mix]
14. Owner Of A Lonely Heart [Geezone Radio Mix]

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