Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Robert Earl Wilson-Never Give Up (1991)


The title has it right—never give up indeed! This next music share—and personal wish fulfillment—was something I had been seeking over the course of several months after having spotted it during an extensive tour of the Europop/Euro-House catalog. And I never gave up seeking it until I successfully claimed what I believe to be a very rare CD from the 90's And with this acquisition comes one more case for the 'unsolved music mystery' file, as I have no clue whatsoever as to the musical origins of this Robert Earl Wilson you see pictured above nor as to what else he's professionally recorded throughout his career. What I do know, however, is that he and his songs on "Never Give Up" are a terrific listen, reminding me vocally and stylistically of something between Eurodance phenom Haddaway and the pop duo MILLI VANILLI. I knew that I was right on target with having made another fine discovery upon taking in the opener, "Dreams Of Summer"/ It's that distinctively slick, Europop 90's sound that attracted my ears, followed by the sunny breeziness of the music itself, all despite the song's negative theme about a love that was only a bad illusion. A similar negative vibe permeates the similarly-arranged "Lost Your Forever", yet the music sounds so good that I myself hardly noticed the 'lost you forever' theme. The mood is drastically different on "Cry It Out", where Robert breathlessly pleads his case for he and the lady to stay together (props to the production for making his voice trail off when he sings 'I need you forever' and the great extended instrumentals to close out the song, letting those earnest words sink in and linger on). .The mood is positive and upbeat also on the title track itself, which is a very powerful, inspirational love song and one that I had nominated as my #1 favorite even though I was slightly past the album's midway point! I draw his closest comparisons to MILLI VANILLI on the hip-house cuts "Twice Done" (ladies delivering the chorus lyrics while he lightly raps in uncannily the same way as MILLI VANILLI did in many of their hits) and "You Got Me Crazy". while I draw the Haddaway comparison when he gets down and groovy with with the strictly made-for--the-house party that is "Partyjam" and the jubilant concluding cut that became my #2 favorite, "Hold On To My Love" (so much to love about this one, from its totally-80's synthpop sound to the energetic spunk of the chorus where Robert proclaims that he is nothing without the lady in his life; it's a song that makes me happy and feel like celebrating!). In between the Europop, Euro-house and the hip-house are a pair of beautiful slow numbers that deserve much recognition: "Broken Lady" (the electronic ambiance used for this one alone makes it a delightful listen) and "Rock Your Baby" (his slow, sensual and soulful rendition of the George McCrae disco classic works wonderfully). "Never Give Up"—a highly-entertaining 40+ minutes with goodies to please just about everyone and a definitely a must-have for your 90's music collection:

1. Dreams Of Yesterday
2. Twice Done
3. Partyman
4. Lost You Forever
5. Cry It Out
6. Rock Your Baby
7. Never Give Up
8. You Got Me Crazy
9. Broken Lady
10. Hold On To My Love
11. Twice Done (Remix)

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