Monday, July 4, 2016

Laurent Daniels-All Said And Done (1999)


From getting newly acquainted with one European pop star named Lauris to getting newly acquainted with another pop star named Lauris.....well, sort of. I finally got the chance to do some serious tuning in to the German singer and actor, Laurent Daniels, after literally months of him having been recommended to me by a fellow German pop lover, then nearly as many months after having claimed my copy of his proper debut solo album, "All Said And Done". As my wandering eye often likes to do before the actual tuning-in takes place, I once again spotted a familiar classic that went straight to the head of the line in the fourteen-track playlist: "You've Got A Friend". The Carole King hit has been performed so well by a great multitude of singers over the years, and this latest upbeat rendering courtesy of Laurent Daniels was truly a treat for my ears—the memorable lyrics, the warming sound and the intimacy in Laurent's delivery. Having found immediate delight in his voice from that four-and-a-half minutes of goodness, I went back to the top, where I was shown even more soulful goodness from this guy with "Show Me". Though really, I would not be 'shown' anything just yet. The third piece of goodness put on display for my ears was the sparkling gem "I'm At Peace", whose almost spiritual vibe (created by the unified voices humming beneath the music in the background during the main chorus) makes it a perfect selection for the easy-listening audience. ' I'm always missing you '—it's those repeated haunting words that'll stick with you long after the song is over. It's the heavenly, angelic voice of a lady named Naima who joins in with Laurent that makes this album's wonderful ballad of a title track something especially nice for your ears to marinate in for three-and-a-half minutes. Then it's pure pop heaven for real when the gears are cranked up for "Heaven In Your Hands", one of this album's thrilling high-tempo dance jams and one where there's such beautiful poetry expressed by Laurent in the lyrics. And as for those other dance thrillers? There's the mega disco-groovy jam "All Around The World", which I even had a feeling would turn out to be the high-energy dance thriller that it is, as it seems that songs with this 'around the world' title are always high-tempo dance tracks: AQUA's "Around The World, COOLER KIDS' "All Around The World (Punk Debutante)" and boyband NORTHERN LINE'S "All Around The World", just to name a few off the top of my head. Must be something about traveling all around the world that makes people want to get the heart set in motion? Then there's the breezy feel-gooder "I'll Be In Your Dreams" and my favorite one of the quartet, "Crazy Love", which I'd gotten all crazy about the moment the groovy rhythm and happy melody marinated into me—that, combined with the fun, romantic story delivered in almost a spoken, theatrical monologue format, plus the sultry, wailing voice of the house diva in the background. There's "Crazy Love", and then there's the beauty of an offering "Careless Love", a song that tells how careless and carefree you are when it's only you and that special someone together. Special: that's the term I'd use to describe the dedication song, "Don't You Worry Mama", which tells a touching story of how Laurent fulfilled his promise of making his mother proud and achieving success despite the adversity he had to face. ' Didn't even have a color TV in my cardboard home': one of my favorite lines for the story that's very colorful indeed. I'm especially fond of "Cry On My Shoulder", whose theme of comfort and always being there serves as a bookend complement to his cover of Carole King's "You've Got A Friend", and the strong vocal performance he gives on "Breaking The Spell", which is one to get all good and cozy with and has one of the best hooks on this album! Perhaps the best place of all to enjoy this guy's vocal talents: "NYC Serenade". His exhibition of a colorful picture of the imagery from his fond experiences living in 'The Big Apple' could not have been painted any more skillfully, the soft piano and orchestrals breathing in the background giving the song a particularly fuzzy, holiday wintertime feel. But by the time it was all said and done, I needed one more spin of "You've Got A Friend" to officially mark the completion of my debut listen to a very complete Laurent Daniels debut album:

1. Show Me [Radio Edit]
2. I'm At Peace
3. Crazy Love
4. All Said And Done [feat. Naima]
5. Heaven In Your Hands
6. Cry On My Shoulder [Radio Edit]
7. Careless Love
8. Breaking The Spell
9. Far Away
10. All Around The World
11. Don't You Worry Mama
12. I'll Be In Your Dreams
13. You've Got A Friend
14. NYC Serenade

1 comment:

Ramachandran Gopalan said...

Wow, cool post. I’d like to write like this too – taking time and real hard work to make a great article… but I put things off too much and never seem to get started.
Targeted Spectrum