Saturday, October 1, 2016

George Salinas - 20 Love-Songs (2002)


Twenty very memorable love songs, as I would imagine, especially for those of you in the older generation. That is the special offering being served up here on this compilation released by the gentleman of a Belgian singer my ears have just had the pleasure of being introduced to named George Salinas. Had nearly forgotten that I'd received this "20 Love Songs" collection back at the start of this year, which goes to show how often things I intend to listen to sometimes get left on the backburner for an unprecedented amount of time. Hot off the griddle of my recent blazing Eurodance streak this album comes with the opening English/French-language track, "Tu Sais Je T'aime - You Know I Love You", being quite the unexpected full-out high-energy Eurodisco jam! It's here where I would instantly be impressed with George's distinctively gravelly, majestically soulful voice, the main attraction here that is surely the very reason why this man had won a televised Belgian talent competition called the "VTM Soundmix-Show" back in 1995, according to some inside information given to be my a fellow Belgian pop music lover. He makes such stunningly grand, show-stopping performances out of timeless ballads like "When I need You", "Unchained Melody" (I always remember the RIGHTEOUS BROTHERS' version from the "Ghost" movie), "Love Is All" (it's so amazing how George goes from the gentle-voiced soul crooner to the supreme king he rises to in the chorus!) and "Memory" (ironically, I have no memory of this song whatsoever, but it's a sublime moment whenever his voice soars to the high heavens in later movements of this song, his soaring grand finale quite literally taking my breath away!). It was a victory celebration of sorts whenever my eyes caught a particular personal favorite of mine when scanning the track-listing. "I Can See Clearly Now": revamped and rejuvenated for the Euro-disco dance floor is George's remake of the Johnny Nash classic. "Right Here Waiting": Every 80's music lover will appreciate the Belgian singer's take on the Richard Marx hit, even with the modernized bounce in the beat to add some spunk to the soft piano and the charm of the unforgettable lyrics. "Don't Leave Me This Way": I know and adore this disco classic all too well, and it was such a thrill hearing George's version fresh on the heels of having heard so many repeated re-listens to the Jimmy Somerville cover, which has been well-tuned inside of my mental jukebox for the past week or so; a Euro-disco remake of this classic is the only appropriate way to go! "Nothing's Gonna Change My Love For You": An excellent selection for this love song compilation, slightly upbeat with a faster tempo than the usual slow ballad versions to give it a little Europop spunk. "Love Is All Around": I practically exclaimed "YES!' at my excitement of seeing this track being a part of the love song compilation! Another excellent choice, and a beautiful choice at that; I've always adored the chords and the sweet soothing rhythm and the even sweeter words of ' there's no beginning, there'll be no end, 'cause on my love you can depend '. "If You Leave Me Now": Ah, the CHICAGO classic; I'm digging this upbeat Europop version of George's a lot! A surprise for me was served up on "Only For You", as I knew I'd just heard this song recently, considering my ears recognized something familiar about the way the majestic, merry beat gallops. I soon realized that the Belgian boyband I'd already fallen in love with some months ago—DREAMLOVERS—had been the first ones to allure me with their interpretation of it. Not surprised that "The Most Beautiful Girl" turned out to be a beautiful listen as well. Had heard this one a few times in my recent past—perhaps DREAMLOVERS had already allured me with their version of it as well?—but there's something extraordinary about George's delivery of it that puts an extra-special, delightful touch on a song whose words of 'if you happen to see the most beautiful girl', tell her that I love her' is simmering with sad undertones:

1. Tu Sais Je T'aime - You Know I Love You
2. When I Need You
3. Unchained Melody
4. You're My World
5. Without You
6. You'll Never Walk Alone
7. Love Is All
8. I Can See Clearly Now
9. You Are
10. The Most Beautiful Girl
11. Memory
12. Right Here Waiting
13. Wonderful Tonight
14. Don't Leave Me This Way
15. Nothing's Gonna Change My Love For You
16. Love Is All Around
17. This Is The Moment
18. Look In My Eyes
19. Only For You
20. If You Leave Me Now

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