Friday, March 25, 2016

BANANA MAMA-Hey Banana Joe (1998)

Apples, strawberries, pineapple, onions, zucchini and eggplant with cashew milk and a sprinkle of ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg—I had all of the fruits, vegetables and seasoning ingredients that I wanted for my breakfast protein smoothie.....except for the Chiquita banana. While I may have missed out on including one of my favorite sources of potassium, I got all the bananas I could eat from tuning into my latest guilty bubblegum Eurodance indulgence that is the obscure group calling itself BANANA MAMA. Well 'Mama' sure had plenty of goodies for me to sink my teeth into! She first serves up a platter of sunshine with a helping—er, several helpings, that is, by the time I was through with it!—of "Hey Banana Joe", whose calypso-style Caribbean groove and sing-along melody make it an immediate addiction! It was here where I'd get introduced to the quirky, distinctively cartoonish voice of the group's male lead singer and his banana babes on backup vocals, which by themselves are an amusing and entertaining attraction! And from that moment forward, my appetite remained alive and well as I consumed the rest of these bouncy bubblebummy beats. "Hey Captain, Captain Ahoy" is a fun, dancey sing-along with a nautical theme, the BANANA MAMA crew even giving you specific instructions on how to do their special 'chicky-bom' dance, reminding me of something straight out of that "Time Warp" song from the 1975 cult movie classic, "The Rocky Horror Picture Show". That singing of 'chicky-bom' and ' we're dancing to the bongo drums ' gets me so hooked! The bubblegum can't get any more bubbly than the sugary love songs of "Gimme, Gimme, Gimme" and "Oh, La La La (Together We Are Dreaming)" (just a few loops of the 'oh, la-la-la' and you'll be hooked, too!). Oh wait—maybe it can! Seems I also forgot to include the coconut milk in my breakfast protein smoothie, but BANANA MAMA sure had plenty of coconuts for me on "Coconut Woman". Beyond the catchy chants of 'co-co-nut!', there's the male lead singer and his distinctively cartoonish voice again providing the humorous, senseless lyrics, complete with suggestions on possible uses for the popular island fruit. 'Get your coconut water, coconut for your daughter, make you strong like a lion', 'makes you feels you tipsy, makes you feel like a gypsy': this is why I love bubblegum Europop! Carefree, footloose and fancy-free is "Hey Amigo Charly". Everyone dances with everyone during this three-and-a-half minute sing-along celebration! A tasty surprise treat for me personally abounded when the BANANA MAMA crew slides back in time with "Come Back". That's because the memorable synthpop sounds of the awesome 80's are what is used to entertain the listener's ears here! The same 80's synthpop-style production would surprise me a second and third time—first on the silly sing-along story about "Mathilda" (that island melody, combined with the drum beats and hearing the BANANA CREW singing 'she take me money and run to Venezuela' over, keeps me hooked to this one, too) and "Ready For The Night", which is the most throwback-80's-sounding of the bunch! Then as for the most bizarre-sounding of this whole banana bunch altogether? "Yippy, Yippy, Yayo". All I can say about this one is, before you know it, the BANANA MAMA crew will have you repeating 'oh-oh-oh, ah-ah-ah' and 'ya,-ya-ya, yo-yo-yo' like a monkey in the jungle:

1. Hey Banana Joe [English Version]
2. Hey Captain, Captain Ahoy
3. Gimme, Gimme, Gimme
4. Oh, La La La (Together We Are Dreaming)
5. Loved Me Baby (Only You)
6. Coconut Woman
7. Come Back
8. Hey Amigo Charly
9. Hey Banana Joe [Dtsch. Version]
10. Cherry Baby
11. Marthilda
12. Ready For The Night [English Version]
13. Gimme, Gimme, Gimme [Reggae Version]
14. Yippy, Yippy, Yayo

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