Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Laurent Daniels-In Progress (2001)


Progressing further with the German pop singer and actor who received the "Music Spectrum" spotlight a couple of days ago—and progressing further into my stack of unlistened to albums that I've been so eagerly wanting to indulge in altogether—I settled in for a cozy second date with him tuning in to his second complete album, "In Progress". Perhaps there is some significance in that selected title, potentially meaning that, at the time, he was continuing to perfect his craft as a multi-talented performer. Well, based off his wonderfully entertaining "All Said And Done", I would say Laurent was pretty much done 'making progress' and had already achieved a level of music greatness! No matter what the charts and official records may have shown in terms of success in the mainstream, I thoroughly enjoyed this small batch of offerings, getting a super-charge right away from the moment the dance beats to the opening cut, "No Limitation Of Love", pounded into my ears! This became the latest conceptually meaningful song to strike a chord with me, the German star expressing how anybody can love anybody, no matter who you are and no matter what you are. That line that specifically talks about how different colors and different faces are irrelevant—it reinforces the notion that, despite our inequalities, the quest for love is something that encompasses us all. Now I really need to get that special playlist together for all of these similar 'important-message-for-the-world; the fact that I keep hearing so many good ones is a sure sign of that. The inclusion of the soulful backing choir on supporting vocals adds a nice unified-in-brotherly-love touch; it totally maximizes the power of this song! Then if you think the song moves so fast that it's over before you look up (and it actually does!), then the near six-minute 'Extended Version' has you all covered. There are songs that deal with falling in love, and then there's Track #2's "Falling Out Of Love", where Laurent offers that doing exactly what the title says is the hardest thing to do when so many fond images of that special someone keep haunting your mind. The tender delivery of the words is very appropriate, particularly when he shows off his adorable mellow side when presenting the main chorus. He throws in a bit of festive spice into the mix on "Rhythm of The Night" with the slight Latin swing coupled with his Latin reggae-inspired proclamations announced throughout; it certainly got an instant 'Oooh, I like this!' mental remark out of me! After giving inspiring thoughts on "Don't Give It Up", he warms the heart with his second dance-floor offering of the album: "Radio Sunshine". Quite the breezy, summertime anthem, I would say, as the soothing airy ambiance will put you into that same lofty, carefree state that Laurent certainly was in when he was singing these happy words about how idyllic and peachy everything is all around him. Would love to have indulged in a good long extended version of this one (hey, I could always press the replay button a few times and get what I desire!), but the instrumental version (save for the minimal vocals in the main chorus) is an absolute must. Then speaking of instrumentals further, the album's sixth and final unique offering, "Kisses On The Playground", serves up a beautifully dazzling musical arrangement on a silver platter. The deep bass propelling the chilled, slow r&b groove in combination with the dreamy stringed accompaniment makes this song feel like a romantic fairy-tale. And the lyrics even paint a faraway fantasy paradise, talking about being the master's puppet on a string, him being the jester while the other is a king, and spinning round and round and up and down, as if on a carnival merry-go-round. No standalone instrumental for "Kisses On The Playground" either, but in this case, I'll take it exactly as it is; having the sweet sounds without the sweet words—and the voice of this German singer providing them—would almost be like playing around with the receptive audio senses a bit too much:

1. No Limitation To Love
2. Falling Out Of Love
3. Rhythm At Midnight
4. Don't Give It Up
5. Radio Sunshine
6. Kisses On The Playground [Rough Layout]
7. No Limitation To Love [Extended Version]
8. No Limitation To Love [Instrumental Version]
9. Falling Out Of Love [Instrumental Version]
10. Rhythm At Midnight [Instrumental Version]
11. Radio Sunshine [Instrumental Version]

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