Monday, July 3, 2017

FUN FACTORY-ABC Of Music (2002)


It's elementary, my dear "Music Spectrum" followers—falling victim to the addiction of good music, that is. I may have learned by A-B-C's back in grade school, but I learned something new today when I finally opened this treasure box of tunes gifted to me and manufactured by this German group that calls itself FUN FACTORY. I learned that, just when I think I've heard everything there is to offer in the Eurodance genre of the late 90's and the early 2000's, there is always a fun surprise of some sort ready to greet my ears! The biggest surprise came with the group's THRILLING cover of the late Laura Branigan hit from the 80's that I know and still adore very much: "Self Control". I had kept glancing at the title while I was listening from the top, wondering if I would be right on target this time; lately, my predictions about cover songs have been a bit off base. Satisfaction came over me (and "Satisfaction" happens to be another memorable Laura Branigan hit, in fact) once I recognized the familiar chords, structure and the lyrics, especially that signature voicing of 'oh-oh-oh' by backing vocals throughout, which no version of "Self Control" would be done justice without! Of course, the FUN FACTORY crew's gotta bring the classic up to modern standards with the added rap twist by one of the male MC's. A secondary surprise is the unexpected, funky/jazzed-up rockabilly swing of "Tam Tam Taram Tam". It's totally un-Eurodance and un-Europop, and even has a sliver of bubblegum thrown into the mix with the lead girl's voicing of the senseless title as the chorus while the guy singing the verses makes like the King Of Rock N' Roll himself, Elvis Presley. What would a Eurodance album be without those delightfully sunny, summery love songs with the happy bounce to them? Check out "I Swear" and "Everybody Let The Sunshine In", and you'll soon be merrily marching along with the marvelous melodies. It's always fun times when the disco-groovy dance jams sweep in; "Let It Happen" and "I'll Be Good" make for such moments. I was all prepared for a full-out Spanish fiesta on "Muchacho", but then I realized that it was mostly an all-instrumental club instrumental and, perhaps, was only to serve as a prelude to the real Spanish fiesta that would erupt on the follow-up cut, :Fiesta de la Vida". Actually, I had already enjoyed a bit of a 'fiesta' on my own long before that with the pair of gems that open this album—"I'll Be There" and "Simple Song"—with the latter sparking my senses with that get-you-pumped-and-movin' vibe that is so indicative of Europop music:

1. I'll Be There
2. Simple Song
3. Crazy
4. Tam Tam Tram Tam
5. Don't You Want Me Baby?
6. I Swear
7. Let It Happen
8. Muchacho
9. Fiesta de la Vida
10. Self Control
11. Everything I Do
12. Everybody Let The Sunshine In
13. I'll Be Good
14. Drum Factory 2001
15. I'll Be There (Maxi Version)
16. Tam Tam Taram Tam (Dixie Club Version)

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