Thursday, July 13, 2017

MODERN TALKING-Alone: The 8th Album (1999)


ORIGINAL POSTING DATE: July 13, 2017

Twelve, eleven, ten, nine, and now eight—so goes the fun album-listening countdown I had launched many months back with a compilation of greatest hits by this German duo. So here I am again, sparking more music conversation about my latest thrill ride with Thomas Anders and company. In some ways, it felt like I've listened to this album before—the duo's signature, bouncy synthpop style and catchy choruses that I've come to love being the most prominent source of the familiarity. The opener, "You Are Not Alone", contributes to that feeling all by itself (believe it was one of the hits on that aforementioned compilation, in fact), and it's one that I definitely adore! A sad song, given the theme of a man wanting a woman who's attached and unavailable, but then those sad songs with the sad melodies always capture my interest. There were a select group of tracks where it felt like the old Italo-disco/synthpop days of the 80's: "Don't Let Me Go", "Taxi Girl", "Can't Get Enough" and "Rouge Et Noir"—all of them super-catchy and featuring those classic lofty vocals that MODERN TALKING (and the alternate Dieter Bohlen project, BLUE SYSTEM) employ like no other within the Europop camp. My energetic feel-gooders of the day came by way of "It Hurts So Good" (there's just a bright, super-sweet sound, highlighted by the echoing woodwind piece that adds a soft, ambient touch, that makes me and my ears so happy here) and the disco-groovy sing-along that is "For Always And Ever". Something else familiar struck me about "I'll Never Give You Up"—not just the title being similar to the Rick Astley song by the shorter title, "Never Gonna Give You Up", -but the actual song structure, the chords and the way the title lyrics themselves are delivered in the opening movement. I know I've heard this beautiful song before; it was definitely a male pop singer performing it back in the early 90's, but my mind is currently drawing a blank. It's a guarantee on every MODERN TALKING album for there to be at least one charming, heart-warming romantic ballad that dazzles me. This time, I get treated to four of them: "Just Close Your Eyes", "All I Have" (quite an emotional performance this one is; I like the contrast of Thomas 's voice being barely a whisper one second, then rises in the moving chorus, with the spoken words at the end add a nice lasting touch), "How To Mend A Broken Heart" and "Don't Let Me Down". Also on the list of new-found favorites is "I'm So Much In Love", a mid-tempo and breezy mellow piece where the words of 'so much in love, can't live without you, always think of you' are some of the most finest words sung on this whole album:

1. You Are Not Alone
2. Sexy, Sexy Lover
3. I Can't Give You More
4. Just Close Your Eyes
5. Don't Let Me Go
6. I'm So Much In Love
7. Rouge Et Noir
8. All I Have
9. Can't Get Enough
10. Love Is Like A Rainbow
11. How You Mend A Broken Heart
12. It Hurts So Good
13. I'll Never Give You Up
14. Don't Let Me Down
15. Taxi Girl
16. For Always And Ever
17. Space Mix [feat. Eric Singleton]

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