Wednesday, August 17, 2016

René Froger-You're My Everything (1989)


Returning my focus back to the 'R' entries in my music collection sees me getting reacquainted with one of the four voices of the Dutch pop group called TOPPERS. Ever since my eyes and ears got treated to a live TOPPERS concert where the group performed a wonderful medley that included their cover of the Bruce Channel classic, "Hey Baby", I've found myself getting attached to each of the individual members. Gerard Joling currently reigns supreme as the TOPPERS member whom I've followed the most, but I have a feeling that fellow member René Froger will offer some heavy competition in the days ahead. An old playlist of mine somehow contained a song that I didn't remember from René's second solo album until I enjoyed it again today: "Are You Ready For Loving Me?". Enjoyed, I truly did, as the instantly-recognizable PWL dance beat—at least it sounds like a PWL production—had me all smiles and remembering why I still love 80's pop music so much. That PWL connection—it had to be the reason why I saved it to that old playlist in the first place. Besides the beat, the song just makes me feel good, the catchy chorus full of such charming questions as 'do you want to spend the night with me?' and 'do you wanna have a good time?'. Had to play this one first to satisfy my curiosity, and then it was back to the proper beginning with "Back On My Feet Again", which has a warming, feel-good air about it itself. As I began listening to the title track, I'd concluded that René has the distinctively gentlemanly voice of a true romantic crooner that is especially well-suited for the starry love songs; "To Make My Life Beautiful" (he certainly has a dazzling flair for the poetics here) led me to draw the same conclusion. I may not have noticed that with him singing alongside Gerard Joling and company in that live TOPPERS concert I watched, but I surely hear it now! Though it's when that voice of his becomes a powerful force, rising and soaring into the high heavens with the utmost passion, that I became completely sold. It was first on "How Do I Stop Loving You?", which starts off as a light piano ballad before it emerges into an awesome, grand performance; you can't help but to be touched and affected by his earnest yet saddening words all throughout. "The Water Is Wide" was the next selling point, which also begins as a soft piano ballad and features some of the most beautiful orchestra overtures you'll hear. His voice is no beautiful against the starry instrumentals, and that extra special touch is added at the end with the unified whispering voices singing the title lyrics at the very end. Then that third major selling point was represented by "Until Tomorrow", which is THE most epic of ballads that will have your ears and your heart hanging on every word, just as he earnestly promises to hang on to the woman he loves for a little while longer before he has to depart from her forever—a truly breathtaking masterpiece! The simplicity of "Ordinary People" makes this album's sixth track a pleasing place to rest your ears; the simple story about simple people with simple desires, put to a simply warming, fuzzy sound, is simple enough for me. Simply lovely is my #1 favorite, "Memories Don't Leave Like People Do". Besides the song's colorful musical arrangement, which features a slight touch of reggae in the hop to the rhythm, there are some excellent, meaningful words of wisdom being preached. Memories are permanent while friends come and go as they please&mash;that is the primary message of the songwriter. Simply short and sweet is another one that takes brings back more of those warm PWL pop memories: "Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon". Then simply appropriate for concluding this album is the sunny walk in the park that is "Daydreamer", where his constant thoughts about being with a perfect lover make for a perfect three minutes of listening pleasure:

1. Back On My Feet Again
2. You're My Everything
3. To Make My Life Beautiful
4. Memories Don't Leave Like People Do
5. How Do I Stop Loving You
6. Ordinary People
7. Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon
8. The Water Is Wide
9. Back Where We Started From
10. If I Never Sing Another Song
11. Until Tomorrow
12. Are You Ready For Loving Me
13. Daydreamer

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