Sunday, January 22, 2017

Nina Badrić-Me! (1998)


ORIGINAL POSTING DATE: January 22, 2017

Enjoying a bit of 'me time' on this Sunday night, and among the highlights is me finally catching up with one more past music recommendations in the name of Croatian pop star Nina Badrić. With that, I once again breached new cultural music horizons, as I'd never had the pleasure of being entertained by a Croatian singer before. Well that pleasure sure turned into excitement the moment I read that Nina was known for covering a very familiar classic and childhood-favorite of mine from the awesome 80's: THE POINTERS SISTERS' "I'm So Excited"! Couldn't help but to jump straight to that one, me being the ultimate covers song lover, as I often proclaim. As soon as her smoky, soulful voice began sensually delivering those same memorable lyrics of ' tonight's the night we're gonna make it happen ' against the slowed-down, r&b groove (and I totally dig this fresh, reinvented r&b format), I was indeed ready to—coining another popular POINTER SISTERS hit—jump for her love! Love that she even retains that 'look what you do to me, you got me burning up' and 'oh-oh-oh-oh-ow!' in the chorus shift later on! Definitely got a new favorite to add to my 'Pop Mix' playlist, but that wouldn't be the only new favorite for pop playlist consideration! When I returned to the top of the album with the opener, "Wonderful Journey", I'd already found my second one, instantly loving the happy, upbeat feeling created by the chords and Nina's invitational words of 'come ride with me' and ' life is a wonderful journey, you'll see '. The song just fills you up with joy and makes you smile. Just when I thought that Nina was strictly a straight-up pop artist, I'd get turned on to the first of several fun dance jams with "(Saturday Night) One & Only", although it's more breezy, dream trance production makes it more calming and more in the realm of ambient chill-out than Euro-house. She does the dance jams bigger and bolder, however, with "Gimme, Gimme" (love her powerful, wailing voice in the intro before she demands 'give her a man after midnight' in the explosively festive chorus!), the funky "Wanna Love Ya Baby" (the funk coming courtesy of the saxophone) and "(One & Only) Saturday Night", which can actually be seen as a remix/reprise of "(Saturday Night) One & Only" with a slightly more electronic texture. That ambient chill-out side of her comes to delight the senses again with the mid-tempo piece, "Standing Alone", and especially the beautiful drum n' bass offering , "One Day" (I really like this one because of her inspiring and hopeful message to the world of living in a paradise where love lasts and unity lasts forever; I sooooooooooo want to go to this place); Then there's the mellow side of Nina, which is featured on the easy-listening gem that is "Lonely"; it's a nice song on the ears, despite the sadness of the lyrics almost being tangible to the listener. Then Nina's wild side erupts with the second glorious surprise on this album: her remake of the TROGGS' classic, "Wild Thing". For some reason, I'd always associated that with being a rock jam from the 80's; perhaps that's because it was during my childhood when I first heard that one? Well it sure looks like Nina loved it from her own childhood! She and her sultry voice cover it well, her rising vocals totally capturing the wild, hair-band rocker's roaring voice delivering the memorable words of 'you make my heart sing' and everything else we know and love about this popular music favorite. Then back on the pure pop side, "Whatever It Takes" is one I had a lot of fun with. The big bounce to the dance-pop beat and the sharp keyboard accompaniment hook me first; Nina's big-and-bold voice as she vows to do everything to see her man again, plus that catchy 'na-na-na-na-na' filler after chorus, are the icing on the cake:

1. Wonderful Journey
2. (Saturday Night) One & Only
3. Wild Thing
4. Standing Alone
5. Whatever It Takes
6. Gimme, Gimme
7. One Day
8. Wanna Love Ya Baby
9. (One & Only) Saturday Night
10. Lonely
11. I'm So Excited
12. Baby
13. Fly Away

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