Monday, September 12, 2016

TWO IN ONE-Around The World (1999)

ORIGINAL POSTING DATE: September 12, 2016

A two-for-one deal on this latest share of mine—a delightfully sweet singer and a delightfully skilled MC spicing things up by laying down the smooth rap! I graced new cultural horizons when I introduced my ears to the Austrian Eurodance group that calls itself TWO IN ONE; I believe it to be the very first Eurodance artist who hails from the country where the city of Vienna is its capital. So it was back to the good old times again with their second album, "Around The World", and a brand new batch of Eurodance songs to satisfy my music senses, the thrills kicking off with the happy crowd-pumping anthem simply entitled "Dancer. Then right afterwards is already one of this album's most interesting offerings: "Hollywood". I'd expected this to be another one of those senselessly fun bubblegum Eurodance jams, but it turns out to be quite the meaningful Europop piece, as the lady reflects on how they don't make movies like they used to, even mentioning the late legendary actresses Shirley Temple and Judy Garland by name in the lyrics. The only other real bittersweet moment here—if there's one to be had here at all—is Track #9's simply-titled "You", whose merry melody and seriously pumpin' Euro-house beat belies the sour team of emotional heartbreak, evidenced by her questions of 'will you break my heart again?', 'will you drive me insane?' and 'will you leave me again?'. Not quite the thoughtful song of dedication that I had presumed it to be, but it's a beautiful listen nonetheless! Everywhere else on this excursion "Around The World", it's either a remembrance of love, a quest for love, a celebration of love or just a celebration altogether! The remembrance is presented on the just the first pleasantly-chilled slow tune, "Remember You". The love celebration, on the other hand, is served up many times: on the Eurodisco-groovy "You Are The One", whose dreamy sound makes this one so easy to get lost into; on the even dreamier mid-tempo piece, "Losing My Heart Tonight", where it's her getting lost—inside the man she desires; and the concluding slow number, "Gentle Love" (I was already attached to this one as soon as that soothing piano piece greeted my ears in the opening movement). The quest for love is quite subtle on "Angel In Disguise" (again, another beautiful 'angel' song, and the heavenly dreamy production, accented by the stilled choir voices in the beginning and midway through, add an even more celestial touch) while her mission is made loud and clear on the super-charge Eurodance floor-filler explosion that is "Looking For Love", where she confesses to have been hunting for her man all over the world. Then it's just a celebration of great dance music on the trio of guilty pleasures that are "Jam In The 'Hood", "Indian Song" and "Hamma Heyah Ho". Well I'd say I surely found a new favorite Eurodancce jam to add to my dance playlist with "Jam In The 'Hood"! I love how it begins with the sampling of the rhythm featured on SUGARHILL GANG "Rapper's Delight"before the deliciously funky, glitzy techno rhythm, the happy melody and the bouncy reggae/Europop rhythm take over! It's one of those jams you'll know you'll love right off the bat while also being one of those jams that'll get you addicted, thanks to its super-catchy sing-along chorus of 'la-la-la, la-la-la, la la la la la la, la' and 'clap your hands, stamp your feet, keep on moving to the beat' (the synthesized sounds of the hand claps and the feet stomps that play in sync to the beat—a slight reminder of the similar sound effects used for QUEEN's "We Will Rock You"—on that part is one of the coolest moments on this album!). I somehow knew that "Hamma Heyah Ho" would turn into a thunderously-good dance thriller because of the ethnic title, figuring the music would have an ethnic jungle rhythm to it. My assumption was pretty straight on, though the glitzy techno is what drives the music while the chanting of the title lyrics and the breezy woodwind instrumental create that ethnic vibe. Then there's the bubbly bubblegum offering, "Indian Song", which is performed in that classic 90's Eurodance style that doesn't bust your bubble of music joyfulness at all:

1. Dancer
2. Hollywood
3. Jam In The 'Hood
4. You Are The One
5. Lose My Heart Tonight
6. Hamma Heyah Ho
7. Remember You
8. Indian Song
9. You
10. Angel In Disguise
11. Looking For Love
12. Gentle Love

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