Friday, September 16, 2016

AI-Ai (1999)


ORIGINAL POSTING DATE: September 16, 2016

There was no artificial intelligence at work in serving up this next delectable treat; the pleasure is all mine! And it takes no intelligence of any kind for my followers to know that I gotta show my love for the Swedish pop! The obscure all-female five-piece troupe that curiously called itself AI is, perhaps, the biggest pop mystery I've encountered so far this year. While they do have an entry in the Discogs.com database at https://www.discogs.com/artist/141723-Ai-3, there's very little information about them, their origins and their music background to investigate. But like so many mystery artists in my ever-expanding case file, AI proved to me to be another case of a great talent with great musical output who somehow faded into oblivion as quickly as they emerged into the spotlight. They make an excellent opening statement for themselves when they throw down with the Euro-house party that is "When The Rain Is Falling Down". That's when I gathered that this Swedish bunch liked to sing together in sweet, happy unison, their carefree words of moving to the rhythm and being happy even when the skies are gray making it so easy to get attached to them. You know it's the 90's all over again when you hear good ole girl group dance-pop jams like the follow-up cut, "I Can't Wait" and the pop-perfect concluding cut, "Everytime I Close My Eyes". You'll be suckered (just as I was) by the deliciously sweet tunes that are "I Want You" and "Shy" and "Baby Don't You Know"; it's their dainty voices and their easy words on all of these that I found so alluring. When the girls slow it down a few notches, they become even more attractive. Qualifying as tonight's second candidate for 'Slow Jam Of The Night' is "the delightful You Are The One". Closing their eyes and he appears in their dreams—simple words, backed by a dreamy melody and a groove that's chilled to the bone. "Love You" has a way of growing and growing on you, once the groove and its bit of r&b bounce in the beat, plus their lofty voices going 'hey-ah, hey-ah, hey-ah' in the catchy chorus, get rooted into you. While they want to spend every day of every night with that dream boy, you could lose all track of time staying tuned to this one for a few sleepless spells. The message is right down to the point with their whispering words delivered at the beginning of the album's third slowed down number, "Stay". But for those of you who want to stay on the dance floor instead, the girls kick it in high gear again when they comeback with the Euro-disco party on "Real Thing" (I love the smooth, deep bass line here, just as I loved it on "When The Rain Is Falling Down") and "If You Want Me", and dance and rejoice in the pouring rain again on the super-spunky "In Rain An Sunshine", where they promise to love through all good times and bad times. Nothing artificial about the music here at all; it's a real thrill and it really is here for the taking:

1. When The Rain Is Falling Down
2. I Can't Wait
3. You Are The One
4. I Want You
5. Shy
6. Real Thing
7. Love You
8. Baby Don't You Know
9. If You Want Me
10. In Rain And Sunshine
11. Stay
12. Everytime I Close My Eyes

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