Monday, April 27, 2009

SEB 193 Review V.2!

Hey, it's TrainerKelly here! I was just added to the SEPH blog for doing some CD reviews! First up will be SEB 193. I know the album is a few months old, but it just happens to be one of my favourite SEB CDs of all time (as well as the only one I've ever done a thorough review on).

For those who have read my review over at Wordpress, you might notice several differences between this review and the review from there.

Anyway, enough for the little intro and let's get down to business, shall we?


Track Review:
The format is "Song Name / Artist - Label Name - Rating: ?/5".

1.) Special Mega-Mix ~Revival Hits~ (Remixed by DJ Boss) - Various - Rating: 5/5
Ever since Super Eurobeat 191, there have been mega-mixes showcasing all the songs on the CD in some sort of way. Out of the six mega-mixes I have heard, this one appears to be the most enjoyable for me. Amazingly remixed by DJ Boss, this mega-mix has next to no flaws. I really like the beginning where you hear a very faint, repeating musical sound while the vocals from each song on the CD (except for "NUMBER ONE") come "flying by". Well, not literally "flying by"; just the way the mega-mix was produced, you kind of get that sense that there is something like footage sliding forward on a screen. The transition from the "HOT VAMPIRE" vocals into Fastway & Christine's "NUMBER ONE" is flawless. It sounded perfect! Unfortunately, the transition from "NUMBER ONE" to "LOOKA BOMBA" isn't that smooth. It sounds almost as if the song was part of a non-stop mix CD and there was a slight delay to the track changing, so there's a moment of awkward silence. Other than this, the songs all seem to transition into each other surprisingly well. My favourite parts of this mega-mix is probably the beginning and the transition from Tipsy & Tipsy's cover of "HUNG UP" to Mark Farina's remake of "BAD DESIRE". This is one of my favourite tracks on the CD for the awesome mixing of the songs. I, personally, keep on waiting for another fantastic mega-mix like this, but it has yet to come.

2.) THE NEVERENDING STORY / Lou Hunter - Eurogrooves - Rating: 3/5
The musical make up of the song fits appropriately with the lyrics, giving off a fantasy/adventure feel. The vocals on the other hand - not so much. Maybe it's the accent (though, accents don't typically bother me in songs). Maybe it's something else. I'm not really that sure why I don't like the vocals, other than they seem to stick out from the fantasy sound of the song. This song is lighter with the synths than the other male Eurogroove songs, which tend to be more aggressive. This cover isn't as great as some of the others I have heard from other artist. This is probably one of the two worst tracks on this entire CD - though, it isn't horrible, the vocals just don't work with it.

3.) SAVE A PRAYER / David Dima - Dima Music - Rating: 3/5
Dave Dima's voice works well with the music he produces, making the perfect blend and a song that sounds just right. I can't compare his version to the original Duran Duran version as I never heard it before, but from this version, I can say it works. My only problem with this song is that it sounds like every other track David Dima produces. After repeating the CD for about a month and a half, this song has sunk into my bottom three.

4.) HUNG UP / Tipsy & Tipsy - Boom Boom Beat - Rating: 5/5
I'm sure many of you who looked at the title automatically thought of the original song when you first looked at the tracklisting. This is a cover of Madonna's "HUNG UP", which is on her Confessions on a Dancefloor album. The original song was pretty slow, pretty disco-like (of course, the entire Confessions on a Dancefloor album was disco-like), and had that feeling of actually being on a dancefloor. This Tipsy & Tipsy cover of "HUNG UP" sounds like they took the original background music and sped it up, as well as raised the pitch for certain things and removed all the clock sounds. The vocal choice for this cover couldn't have been more perfect! Whoever is behind the voice in this cover sounds VERY close to Madonna. The pitch of the vocals are slightly higher than the original, almost sounding like a younger version of Madonna. Honestly, I think I like this version better than the original. The fast beats, the fantastic singing, and how close it sounds to the original made it a fantastic track to listen to, before I started to skip over the covers (except for the next song) and just listen to the remakes.

5.) VIDEO KILLED THE RADIO STAR / Tina Ray - Eurogrooves - Rating: 5/5
This Eurobeat cover of a famous song is packed with a lot of fun. The fast beats add a lot of energy to the song and Tina Ray's vocals just add to it! I tend to find myself singing along unconsciously to it when I'm listening to the song (which I don't usually do). I like how the intro makes sounds as if someone was changing to a different radio station. The vocals are easy to sing along to and aren't at a higher pitch like many Eurobeat songs seem to be. This is one of those songs that sounds like it would show up on Dance Dance Revolution. It's that kind of beat.

6.) BAD DESIRE / Mark Farina feat. F.C.F. - Boom Boom Beat - Rating: 5/5
When I first heard this song on the CD, I just casually listened to it without paying too much attention. The first few times I listened to the song, I just passed this off as a cliché-sounding SAIFAM song. It's good, but not fantastic. Of course, after I bothered to actually pay attention, I fell in love with this song! The lyrics of the song are depressing, yet amazing at the same time! I think they're well written and tell some sort of story, which is always a nice thing to listen to (even if it is depressing). I love Mauro Farina's vocals as well! Maybe that's just because I'm a Mauro Farina fan or maybe it's because it sounds like he's singing this song with tons of energy and emotion. The only bad thing I can think about this song is the very end. It makes me laugh because it sounds as if they didn't know how to end the song, so they just dragged out the end a few beats and ended it with a crash symbol. It doesn't take away from how fantastic this song sounds though.

7.) DOCTOR LOVE / Kevin & Cherry - Delta - Rating: 5/5
I heard this song back in December. I had stayed up all night, was craving some new Eurobeat music, and I was curious about this track. I listened to the preview several times over and over before purchasing the song. It honestly became an instant hit with me. The laugh in the beginning, the lonely sounding intro, and the kind of dark sound of the song just drew me in right away, along with the fantastic vocals by Davide Budriesi (Kevin) and Clara Moroni (Cherry). I personally really like the Kevin & Cherry alias. I have yet to hear a song under that name I don't like. I notice that some Eurobeat fans talk about the song being too "hallow" and could totally be better with another synth riff. To me, the hallow sound of the song is what gives the song its feeling. It works well for the vocals and the tone of the song, in my opinion at least. I do agree though that another synth riff would have made it sound even better, mainly for the beginning of the song where it's just the instrumental playing. What I find interesting about this song - other than the detailed visualizations I get that would make a fantastic music video for it - is that the original version, "DOCTOR LOVE", is sung under the name of Dr. Love. To me, this song is giving that alias (Dr. Love) a personality of some sort. Comparing to the original, this one is a heck of a lot more darker; the original sounded...really cutesy to me (honestly, my first reaction to hearing the original fully was "Aww, this sounds so cute!"). Yeah...weird. Anyway, this song still is within my top favourite Eurobeat songs, despite have played it for even longer than this CD has been out.

8.) TRY ME / Lolita - A-Beat C -Rating: 3/5
The first few times I heard this track pop up on the CD, I would mistaken the beginning for another song (I think I thought it was a Nuage song, but I'm not sure). I forget which song I thought it was now, but it sounds similar to another song. I was never a huge fan of the original, nor am I huge fan of this remake (which is sung by the same artist and under the same name). The Platinum Mix is pretty boring, marking this as the worst song on the CD (in my opinion). There's nothing particularly interesting or mind blowing about this remake. It just sounds like a modern version of the original song, which is exactly what it is.

9.) TOO YOUNG TO FALL IN LOVE / Dejo - SinclaireStyle - Rating: 5/5
The vocals this time around are done by Maurizio Dejorio (notice how they took "Dejo" from Maurizio Dejorio's last name). I personally enjoy the vocals better in this version rather than the original. Maybe the heavy accent in the original throws it off for me? Or maybe how Maurizio Dejorio seems to have a lot more fun singing the vocals than the original artist. One of the things I do prefer in the original is the way the Japanese is spoken. There are certain parts in the song when a Japanese girl is speaking. In the original, she has more of an attitude when she speaks, as oppose to this new version where she speaks it in kind of a "suggestive" kind of way (except for the very end of the song, where I think she says "But I'm not too young to fall in love" in Japanese, but I'm not entirely sure). I kind of miss the "Yeah! Yeah!", but the song is perfectly fine without them. The first time around of reviewing this song, this song was probably at number four or five on my top favourite songs, but after listening to the CD for a month and half, this soon became my absolute favourite track for its new sound, awesome vocals, fun lyrics, and the energy it provides.

10.) HOT VAMPIRE / Go2 - SCP - Rating: 5/5
The first song present of the Gogo's Music/SCP switch up! Go2 took the Go Go Girls's classic "HOT VAMPIRE" and remade it one fun song! I'm a fan of the original Go Go Girl's version (though, I slightly ruined it for myself when I thought of someone taking the original, taking Twilight footage, and making a fan video about Edward *shivers*), which has a more serious tone to it. Anyway, this remake starts off with the sound of thunder, before you hear "HOT VAMPIIIIIRE!". The lyrics of the song are slightly feminine (Well, hey, the original song was sung by females after all), so it just adds to the comical sense. The fact that Fastway is (kind of) rapping "do it now; somethin' for me" and his shouting of "GO2!" and "GO GO GIRLS!" between the chorus verses is hilarious. The worst part of this song is probably the very end when they just echo "vampire" over and over; it should have really gone out with a bang (literally) or something like that, rather than something as simple as echoing. I also miss the "Whooooooooa!" after the second half of the chorus (which was replaced by Fastway shouting "GO GO GIRLS"). Overall, it's a song that is more fun than the original and honestly, I prefer this version.

11.) LOOKA BOMBA / Go Go Girls - Gogo's Music - Rating: 5/5
The second song present from the Gogo Music/SCP switch up! The Go Go Girls took the forgettable (in my opinion) Go2 song of "LOOKA BOMBA" and made it memorable (in my opinion)! This version, I feel, has made an improvement to the original. Domino and Lolita sound great in this song! Their vocals are more on the same level (usually Lolita's are much higher than Domino's) and they make the song more fun to listen to. It's a pretty interesting choice for Go Go Girls to chose; why not Go2's classic "SUPER STRIKER"? Or Go2's very first song, "NOT FOR SALE"? Whatever the reason is, they did a great job pulling this off. The more and more I listen to this song, the more and more I seem to like it (the original rating for this was 3/5).

12.) NUMBER ONE / Fastway & Christine - SCP - Rating: 5/5
Personally, the best thing about this is that this version sounds A LOT like the original, only with better vocal work and MUCH better synths. In the original version, Fastway didn't sound like he wanted to sing the song. He actually sounds like he wanted to sing the song in this version. The other thing I didn't like about the original was that the synths sounded really...flat and floppy, as if they were just falling over with a "plop", as oppose to this one where they sound very solid. Fastway is also teamed up with Christine (well, I think he was in the original too, but meh) in this remake, who just adds to the song. Her higher pitched vocals work well for a duet with Fastway. Rated a 5 out of 5 due to awesome vocal work from both Fastway and Christine and how well the song was remade.

13.) IKE IKE / Pistol Girl - Hi-NRG Attack - Rating: 5/5
The intro to the song introduces you to a cute "Sing na-na-na" and the title of the song, which repeats a few times before going back to "Sing na-na-na". Shortly after, the familiar reminisce of "We Like to Party" (also known as the "Six Flags Theme") begins to play in a party-like playfulness. The synths in this version are a good deal lighter than the original, harder synths, which didn't quite lend to the party/club theme of the song. Pistol Girl's vocals are lower than most of Hi-NRG Attack's female vocals over the past few years. I like to consider her vocals the middle finger to those who complain about their high pitched vocals (8D); you don't like the high pitched vocals, so instead, you get ones that are practically drowned out! The song itself is full of a lot of energy, working well with the lyrics. Its playful sound is enough to make you smile the entire time you listen to it and well after that. This is one of my favourite tracks on the CD for its playful nature and improvements to the original. And that "Sing na-na-na" echoing throughout the song, that I'm pretty sure is Bazooka Girl's voice, is just adorable!

14.) SPACE BOY / Dave Rodgers feat. Mike Garson & Rafael Moreira - A-Beat C - Rating: 4/5
When most people first heard this full song, many of them hated it. Personally, I don't think the song is as bad as people are making it out to be. The piano (that received the most complaints) indeed is annoying, but after listen to it for a long while, you kind of just shrug it off and try to not let the different tune bother you. Personally, to my ears, this version of "SPACE BOY" is actually better than the original. Though the piano DOES bother me, this version of "SPACE BOY" sounds as if it has less of a rock influence. The original had a heavy rock influence (like many Dave Rodgers songs do), which just got on my nerves after about two minutes. So what am I say? I am saying that I do like this version. I am saying that I like it better than the original. It fits my taste more (minus the piano, which would have sounded better if it went to the same tune as the song and/or was quieter) and makes it more enjoyable to listen to. Don't get me wrong; I do like the original. I just like the way this sounds more.

Top Three Tracks:
These are my top three tracks on the CD.
2.) "DOCTOR LOVE [2009]" / Kevin & Cherry

Bottom Three Tracks:

The tracks I think aren't that good.
1.) "TRY ME " / Lolita
3.) "SAVE A PRAYER" / David Dima

Overall CD Review - Super Eurobeat 193 has officially made it onto my top favourite CDs of all time, which includes Super Eurobeat 171 and Scooter's Jumping All Over the World album. The CD was a joy to listen to, all the songs are well done, and I just love covers and remakes, especially when they're Eurobeat! The remakes have made improvements to the original songs and gave the producers a chance to do the songs right if they didn't feel complete the first time, as well as update them to a modern sound. This is my favourite album of the 190s decade, with 196 coming in second. This CD is full of fun, well-produced tracks.

Overall CD Rating - 9.5/10 for the amazing songs on the CD, exception to "TRY ME" and "THE NEVERENDING STORY" that brought this rating lower by .5 points.
Hope you enjoyed my review! I hope to do more in the future...and hopefully shorter ones. ^^;;

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