Wednesday, July 19, 2017

BLAZIN' SQUAD-Now Or Never (2003)


Back to the blazin' boybands and the blazin' beats of the British bunch that called itself BLAZIN' SQUAD; I'm just doing my part in keeping these older boybands from the 90's and early 2000's alive and well, even if the boys disbanded more than a decade ago. I was so ecstatic when I finally acquired their second album—which, unfortunately, would also be their final one before the inception of the spin-off group, FRIDAY HILL—and even more ecstatic once I got around to listening to it today! "Here 4 One": now THIS is is how you start off an album—bombastic beats that totally wake up the senses! I sure got a charge out of that one, as I did with the equally-bombastic cut, "Flip Reverse" ('wanna see you work it baby' is the main line they keep coming at you with here), which was like the wow thrill ride before the proper jam called "Ride" (and I got all sorts of thrills just out of the slight vintage flavor of the syncopated jazzy kick at the end of the chorus). Seems I cannot go through any album these days without at least one 'Music Surprise Of The Day' to rave about. My latest one came when I heard the familiar chords and structure to "Easy", the timeless popular radio soul classic by Lionel Richie and THE COMMODORES, on Track #7's "Stop"; it instantly put a big smile on my face, as does any song that samples a golden oldie from my music yesterdays. The album's second slow jam is super-chilled with a beautiful, mellow glow, one that'll have you singing along as they declare ' baby just stop what you're doing '. One of my favorite lines on the album can be found midway through during the rap break: ' forget drugs, you're my ecstasy '. As for the first slow jam, that comes way of "Thinking About You", which too is a beautifully mellow delight and contains some of the most charming and thoughtful words. But I like the boys best when they bring it hard and the club/ride vibe ignites the sparks, which they do to further perfection on the entertaining "Biggest Fan" (a fun one whose theme is a girl that's so hot that they'd pay to see her), "Shorty", "Baby It's The Weekend" and a new-found favorite, "Revolution", whose intense, edgy rock infusion with the boys' already in-your-face pop/rap style dazzled me so much that I had to play it twice! I've been getting attached to sunny songs with warming sounds and breezy rhythms lately, and there's a couple here that only add fuel to the fire. " We Just Be Dreamin' " is like the ultimate summer ride jam here where they, of course, have to rap about the' blazin' sun ' in the first verse while the guitar-driven concluding piece, "Life's A Struggle", shows the boys putting on a meaningful display with their sincere words about life being a struggle when you're all alone:

1. Here 4 One
2. Biggest Fan
3. Flip Reverse
4. Ride
5. Thinking About You
6. No Angels
7. Stop
8. Shorty
9. Revolution
10. Girls
11. Baby It's The Weekend
12. All We Wanna Do (Is Rap)
13. We Just Be Dreamin'
14. Keep On
15. Life's A Struggle

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