Sunday, July 3, 2016

Lauris Reiniks-Planet 42 (2002)


There's the English funk/rock band called LEVEL 42 (as well as their 1981 debut album by the same name), and then there's this album and latest lovely listen of mine entitled "Planet 42", the debut English album and first professionally-released album altogether by the Latvian singer Lauris Reiniks. With this latest trek into my European pop music listenings, I believe I've breached new cultural horizons in music once again, as I have no recollection of ever having heard the voice of anyone of Latvian descent before tonight. Definitely an enjoyable exposition for me and my ever-so-receptive ears, the entertaining show of this guy's talents beginning with the album's opening offering, "Go Girl". Nothing like a peppy, modern pop/rock number with a warming sound and charming words of inspiration to delight the senses, his words at the end of the chorus that goes ' I don't wanna see no road sign ' serving as one of many fun moments. I would immediately discover soon after how impressive he when paired with the voice of a fellow Latvian songstress on "I Wish I Knew". He and a lady named Linda Leen make a beautiful pair, and the words of ' here is my heart; don't break it apart ' further continue the trend of charming songwriting. Love hearing him performing alongside a second fellow Latvian songstress named Marija Naumova.on "Tell Me", then with a third yet uncredited female singer on the lively dance/pop cut "Try Baby", which has a way of sneaking up on you and emerging as quite the stunning Lauris Reiniks vocal highlight! Couldn't avoid catching on to the catchy dance beat of "Never Tell You Whatever"; once I did, I would then catch on to the super-catchy delivery and rhyming flow of the main chorus, the signature line of ' I'm never gonna tell you whatever, maybe I better send you a letter ' making for more fun moments, not to mention the touch of funky hip flavor in the background to spice up the music. "Totally Broke": I had been struck by the title, wondering if it would have something to do with money and literally being broke. Well, it did in a way; although Lauris confesses he can't afford the finer luxuries in life for the lady he loves, at least he has her love, and having her close to him is nothing short of priceless—no joking matter. I've been hearing a lot of songs lately that give me an instant rush, though turn out to be so short that an additional listen is necessary. The latest is this album's lively title track, a short journey to a distant world introduced by the flight attendant's message given at the start with the sounds of a plane whizzing through the air. In fact, I had expected that the arrangement to this one would indeed be something bordering close to the high-energy circuit; that's why at only ten seconds shy of the three-minute mark, a replay is a must to experience the rush all over again! Lauris comes down back to earth for the soothing piece that is "Calm Down", where he promises to ease away all misery, then stays on calm-down charm mode for the beautiful engagement that is "My Problem", where only his voice, delicate piano and ambient fuzziness and zero beats combine to create this lush musical landscape for your hears. Well, this guy's really something of a superb singer, and he seemed to reinforce his own knowledge of that very notion with the concluding mellow piece which, like in so many other places here on "Planet 42", is truly something good:

1. Go Girl
2. I Wish I Knew
3. My Memory Tape
4. Never Tell You Whatever
5. So Easy
6. Calm Down
7. Totally Broke
8. My Problem
9. Tell Me
10. Try Baby
11. Planet 42
12. I Know You The Best
13. Something

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