Monday, May 1, 2017

F.R. David-Numbers (2009)


I'm not much of a casino goer these days, but when it comes to the roulette wheel of music, I'm always spinning it in hopes of landing on a good fortune. I played my 'numbers' just right when I decided to go one more round in the world of electronic/synthpop; it awarded me with another fantastic listen that is this fourteen-track edition of this seventh album released by the French singer F.R. David. With these winning "Numbers" comes my first ever good hard listen to anything by this guy, despite the popularity he'd already achieved way back in the 80's with a hit entitled "Words" and the numerous times I've come across his name in music explorations in the past. Somehow, I had expected Italo-disco—at least that's the dance sub-genre that I thought he'd been connected to earlier in his career—but upon taking in the pop/rock delight of an opener that is "The 1st To Know", it seemed to me that his sound may have changed over to the soft rock/easy listening side of things going forward into the post-New Millennium. "The 1st To Know", in fact, became the very first song I favored, finding myself all caught up in the music (the rock guitars add a cool edge to it) and his light lofty voice, which brought to mind Thomas Anders of MODERN TALKING (whose music is still spinning around inside of my mental jukebox as I type). The music delights continued with the beautiful slow piece about a woman he admires named "Yasmeen", one of those breezy romantic offerings that's sure to get stuck in your head before long. My alluding to playing the roulette wheel at the casino was inspired by the third track simply called "The Wheel"—a 'Wheel Of Fortune'. perhaps, as he lyrically confesses that he can't stop it from turning once the game of love is set in motion. I like how his voice rises on ' can't stop the wheel ', and just as with "The 1st To Know", the inclusion of the rock guitars adds a cool edge to the music here as well. The roulette wheel further could serve as a metaphor to the idea behind "Same People Never Learn" (I almost misread it as 'Some People Never Learn'). Here, the French singer makes a self-realization that he's making the same old mistakes and not learning from them; in essence, he's spinning his own wheel—like that of a merry-go-round (and the haunting carnival music at the end serves as a nice touch). This one evolves into a strong vocal performance; it really sneaked up on me after hearing the lighter, loftier side of him for much of the album until that point. Another favorite number of mine would also come by the slow variety: "I'll Try To Love Again" Instantly captivating is the dreamy, soft-stringed accompaniment and the trumpet; giving me that sleepy, snow-covered town feel that is often the setting for those New Age or traditional holiday tunes. It's the most magical and alluring piece I've heard within the past few days! If "The 1st To Know" is such a delight, then so must be the similarly-arranged, ear-appealing "In My Mind" (though kind of a sad song, talking about a lady whom he thinks about, yet is not really in his heart) and "What I Get" (I figured the complete idea would be about what he gets for being in love; the part of the chorus where he goes 'this is what I get, this is what I get, for loving you' becomes a super-catchy sing-along). But it's when the wheels got cranked all the way up into high gear when the biggest thrills would come! The non-mixed version of "Taxi" didn't get my attention much at first, but the bombastic groovy bass line of 'Dance Remix' surely did! I would definitely go on a long joyride in THIS taxicab! "Heart String", this album's first proper dance jam, is a great feel-gooder; him proudly proclaiming that the woman's got him spinning reinforces that reference to wheels again. I fell in love with the disco-groovy dance delicacy "Miss Me", the soothing, provocative oohing and aahing of the lady in the background adding some spice; it'll all make you want to say, 'oooh, I gotta hear this again!'. "Pick Up The Phone 2009": I had presumed F.R. David previously recorded an original version of this on one of his older albums from the 80's (which I haven't yet heard), but this 2009 version is an absolute blast! I knew it would possess all sorts of super-charged techno glitz! I don't believe I've ever heard a song about a guy calling up girls on the phone that's been more exciting! Even the short little bouncy number called "Be Blue" is a treat, evidence that no matter where the lucky ball lands on this roulette wheel, you'll have the winning number:

1. The 1st To Know
2. Yasmeen
3. The Wheel
4. I'll Try To Love Again
5. Taxi
6. In My Mind
7. Dead Star
8. Same People Never Learn
9. What I Get
10. Be Blue
11. Heart String
12. Miss Me
13. Taxi [Dance Remix]
14. Pick Up The Phone 2009

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