Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Daniel Amalm-Daniel Amalm (1997)


Reservations for an upcoming weekend getaway are completed, but planning my itinerary has proved to be a daunting task. To keep me company while pouring over some last-minute travel details, I did a bit of 'virtual travelling' of my own—back to the great Land Down Under, that is, to indulge in some more Aussie pop. That's where I finally got officially acquainted with the multi-talented actor, musician and singer, Daniel Amalm. The unofficial acquainting had already happened many moons ago while surfing the 90's pop music catalogs, my attention having being diverted to Daniel's self-titled debut, which I knew absolutely zero about. Since I often have the golden touch for digging up hidden jewels that turn out to be a priceless treasure, I'd made his album a part of my personal wishlist, believing something about it would enrich my music-listening existence. Besides that, I just have a huge interest in all things Aussie pop (insert smiley face). From the moment my ears received the funky urban beats and Daniel's slick way with words to the opening cut, "Got's 2 Live", I knew I'd found myself a new pop-rap artist to add to my hip-hop collective. Besides me digging the beats and his seamless rap style, I was intrigued by the positive message Daniel and his backup crew enforces here, proclaiming that the human race needs to live together and make the world a better place. I always find songs like these so meaningful, and they always fill my heart with satisfaction. Dipping further down the album to Track #2's "Honey Dip": here we have a festively dancey groove featuring a merry calypso melody and the honeysweet voice of a lady singing the background chorus with a few spurts of reggae vocals here and there. I mention this cut in particular, because it's here where I got my first taste of his guitar least I presume it's him playing the guitar, as I recently discovered that the guitar has been Daniel's instrument of choice ever since becoming an accomplished musician. He shows off his stuff again later on the energizing house jam "Loco Gitarra" (that's "Crazy Guitar" for you Spanish translators), then on the warming, soothing instrumental-only ambient mix versions of both "Any Way You Want It" and "Classical Gas". As for the original versions of that pair? Well it's a straight up 90's house party! The ' Andalucia 12'' ' mix of the former totally brings back the spirit of the 90's with Daniel rapping it up as the MC in charge while his backup crew sings the chorus (brings to mind all of those memorable club hits by 2 UNLIMITED and other similar Eurodance groups). Then "Classical Gas" is pure gas alright—high-octane grade even!—with its super-charged fast-paced tempo. Totally wasn't expecting what I heard (expected something, like violins and cellos), but the music is superb! When it comes to the beats and overall production, I cite "Rhapsody In Blue" to be the one that reigns supreme. The extended instrumental movements allowed me to immerse myself in the funky electronic rhythm, accented by the sharp keyboard playing and the cool digitized vocal effects of 'rhapsody' being chanted throughout. Minimal vocals and plenty of groove—rhapsody indeed:

1. Got's 2 Live
2. Honey Dip
3. Fame A 4 Letter Word
4. Any Way You Want It [Andalucia 12"]
5. Classical Gas
6. Rhapsody In Blue
7. Loco Gitarra
8. Downunda Ghetto
9. Race Against Time
10. Whatz Goin' Down
11. Any Way You Want It [The Ambient Guitar Mix]
12. Classical Gas [Ambient Mix]

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