Tag Archives: BMG

Jay-Z – Chapter One: the Greatest Hits

Jay-Z
Chapter One: the Greatest Hits
March 11, 2002
Northwestside RecordsBMGSME
080/100
Jay-Z - Chapter One. the Greatest Hits
1. Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem) [Radio Edit] // 2. Wishing On a Star [D’Influence Mix Radio Edit] (feat. Gwen Dickey) // 3. Sunshine [Radio Edit] (feat. Babyface & Foxy Brown) // 4. The City Is Mine (feat. Blackstreet) // 5. Can’t Knock the Hustle [Radio Edit] (feat. Mary J. Blige) // 6. Ain’t No Nigga [Original Radio Edit] (feat. Foxy Brown) // 7. Imaginary Playa // 8. Money Ain’t a Thang (Jermaine Dupri feat. Jay-Z) // 9. Can I Get a… (feat. Amil & Ja Rule) // 10. Streets Is Watching // 11. Money, Cash, Hoes (feat. DMX) // 12. I Know What Girls Like [Fly Girly Dub] (feat. Lil’ Kim & Diddy) // 13. Feelin’ I(feat. Mecca) // 14. Dead Presidents II //
bonus tracks
15. Wishing On a Star [D’Influence Mix Full Version] (feat. Gwen Dickey) 16. Can’t Knock the Hustle [Fool’s Paradise Remix] (feat. Melissa Morgan) // 17. Ain’t No Nigga [Rae & Christian Mix] (feat. Foxy Brown) // 18. Brooklyn’s Finest (feat. the Notorious B.I.G.)

Jay-Z’s first greatest hits album came to be completely without his involvement and quite possibly completely without his knowledge of it happening. Chapter One: the Greatest Hits, released in early 2002 in order to ride the success of his album the Blueprint compiles all the hits from Jigga’s first three albums Reasonable DoubtIn My Lifetime vol. 1 and vol. 2 and it wasn’t even released on Roc-a-Fella records, the label all of these songs appeared on.
I’m sure Jay was dazed and confused when he found the cheque from Sony subsidiary Northwestside Records on his doormat, a label he probably had never even heard of in his lifetime. (On a side note: I wonder if Kanye at one point held this album in his hands when he was working on launching that ‘new person’ thing with Kim Kardashian last year.)
It turns out that Def Jam, Roc-a-Fella records’ parent label was distributed by Sony Music Entertainment from 1984 to 1998, and it is probably for this reason that Sony had the rights necessary for compiling and releasing a compilation such as this one. This also helps explain the otherwise curious omission of hit singles from Vol. 3, the last album released before the Blueprint. By 1999, the year Vol. 3 was released Def Jam, and Roc-a-Fella with it had already jumped ship to the Universal Music Group.

Chapter One: the Greatest Hits  is therefore nothing but a byproduct of music industry technicalities. But it nevertheless is a nice trip through Jay-Z’s early catalog from a purely commercial point of view. These are after all Jay’s most successful singles from the 1996-’98 period, although even disregarding the bonus-tracks some curious choices have been made (I Know What Girls Like and The City Is Mine made the cut but Nigga What, Nigga Who (Originators ’99) and It’s Alright were left off? Never mind quality control, the latter respective two were higher-charting songs than the former respective two, besides being better songs by anyone’s standards except P. Daddy’s.) Keeping in mind that this amount of hits is the yield of only two years is pretty impressive in and by itself.

It is also worth noting that a lot of songs, Sunshine and Can’t Knock the Hustle in particular, sound much  better in their shortened radio edits and surrounded by their fellow hit singles than they do in their full-length incarnations on the albums on which they originally appeared. This is most likely because their instrumentals are perfectly enjoyable in measured doses but will grate on the ears when allowed to run on far beyond the three minute mark. It also helps that Can’t Knock the Hustle appears to have gotten a make over for it’s single release that has seriously tightened up the vocal production.

Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem), the song that opens the album, is probably today still Jay’s biggest singular stroke of genius. Having the streets- and the pop-audiences eating from the palm of his hand in one go. It is with this song that he truly took over Biggie’s crown, speaking of which.. 
The City Is Mine
is still too polished for a proclamation of dominance over the rap-game with its rubbery Teddy Riley instrumental and its vocodered BlackStreet hook, but in retrospect the man was absolutely right in crowning himself king of New York. Looking back today it is simply a matter of fact.
Ain’t No Nigga and Sunshine are fun, fluffy ‘males vs. females’ cuts, and even Foxy Brown’s inclusion sounds logical and tolerable in these abreviated edits (Although it still remains questionable whether they were worth her having a career with solo albums and shit.)
Can I Get a… finds Jay abandoning Fox for another conventionally good-looking but not-very-talented female rapper Amil (I guess that Jay made as much money as he did because he’s a business man as much as he is an artist, and keeps in mind what appeal music video will have to whom, when selecting the line-up for the songs on his albums that are poised to be singles) and has the first appearance on a charting single by a certain Ja Rule. That’s a whole lot of poorly recieved careers launched in one song. May it be a consolation price that it is a good song largely in thanks to Irv Gotti’s lightly treading instrumental.
Money Ain’t a Thang, originally taken from Jermaine Dupri’s solo debut Life in 1472, but for this occasion redistilled from Vol. 2 on which it appeared as a bonus-track, is hands down Jay’s most balltastic song from the shiny suit era. It is also a song that other rappers haven’t stopped quoting and paraphrasing since it was released, even if few will have realised that its hook quotes from Jigga’s own Can’t Knock the Hustle.
Money Cash Hoes work despite Jay-Z, invited guest DMX and producer Swizz Beatz each doing a horrible job with their respective contributions. Somehow they all cancel each other out and leave nothing but an entertaining singalong song for the clubs.
Streets Is Watching is quintessential early Jay-Z, but it was never a single nevermind a hit. So its inclusion is curious but not unwelcome. It makes one wonder what Chapter One could’ve been if it were a compilation of rareties, pre-Reasonable Doubt singles and guest appearances, and songs that appeared on compilations such as Streets Is Watching. One could make a fantastic compilation out of I Can’t Get With That, Dead Presidents (I)In My Lifetime and Hawaiian Sophie and such. But Chapter One is a not that album, so I better stop daydreaming and get back to the review…
Imaginary Playa may very well be the exact point where where Jay-Z invented swag. It’s beat that suggest a sort of cold disaffection combined with Jay having hella fun exposing unnamed competing rappers as busters makes an underrated classic. Again: not a single. Guess we can conclude that this Greatest Hits concept is out of the window by now. It makes one wonder whether someone at Northwestside records actually knew and liked Jigga’s catalog because this is positively starting so sound like a perfectly decent, if limited, ‘best of’. (Perhaps the person compiling Chapter One disliked Memphis Bleek as much as I do and this was why It’s Alright failed to make the cut, even if it’s a pretty decent song.)
Feelin’ It and Dead Presidents II weren’t exactly big hits but they are amongst Jay’s best songs, and they are an effective introduction to Reasonable Doubt for the uninitiated, so their inclusion is warranted. It is puzzling however that the original Dead Presidents isn’t on here since that actually was a hit single, with a gold certification even. Guess nobody at Northwestside records wanted to make the call to EMI, Jay himself or whoever owns the right to that song (not Sony or Def Jam though, because it didn’t appear on the Def Jam/ Sony re-release of Reasonable Doubt), lest they risk legal action preventing this compilation from even coming out.

My favourite inclusion is Wishing On a Star [D-Influence Mix] because a) It makes the original, rather boring Trackmasters produced version (which was a UK-only bonus on In My Lifetime, Vol. 1) completely obsolete, and b) because it grants the fantastic UK acid jazz band D-Influence (calling them underrated would be the understatement of the century, even though they have four albums under their belt I’d call them undiscovered) a paycheck that was probably the biggest they’ve ever gotten. (For this reason I’ll even condone Northwestside records including it two version that are only different in that one of them is two minutes longer than the other.) This song is almost worth the price of admission alone. (Or.. you know a trip to Amazon.com or iTunes if you already own everything else. Make sure to get the long version labeled as a bonus track.)

The album closes with four bonus-tracks, the first one of which is the previously mentioned long version of Wishing On a Star. The following two are a pretty cool Irv Gotti remix of Can’t Knock the Hustle and a completely unneccesary remix of Ain’t No Nigga that removes the most fun part of the original: the “No-one-can-fuck-you-bet-ter”-chorus. These tracks neither add nor subtrackt much to the equation, which is fine and all since bonus tracks are usually there only to fill up the remaining room on the compact disc. Although it would’ve been nice if these two cuts were so polite to make room for Originators ’99 and It’s Alright. But you can’t have everything I suppose. The last one however is Jigga’s awesome collabo with the Notorious B.I.G., rightfully called Brooklyn’s Finest off Reasonable Doubt. Why wasn’t this included in the proper track listing one must ask because it is definitely one of the best things on here. Oh well, at least it’s here right?

Chapter One: the Greatest Hits is about as good a job as one could do compiling a single Jay-Z disc using only his first three albums as a source to pick songs from, trying to please everyone. And if that doesn’t sound like an ideal purchase consider this: With a combination of radio edits of hit singles, fan favourites and and even a couple of rareties thrown in, it is in fact pretty representative of what the man was doing during those early career establishing years. That’s breaking down the creation of a rap album into a scientific equation (or a ‘blueprint’ if you will): Radio and club-songs plus street songs in equal measure equals platinum record sales and charts hits. Interestingly by the time Vol. 3 dropped he had perfected the art (word to Max from hhid) and he had gotten sick of it before creating The Blueprint. So this is very much a constructive phase of Jay’s mainstream career, not that you tell that from the individual songs which all sound professionally made and pretty good with Jay-Z’s conversative flow and icy playboy persona fully formed (except I Know What Girls Like off course, which sounds like shit no matter what you release it on). And it is interesting that this album’s creators have been able to capture that process that has on occasion led him to some pretty suspect collaborators such as Babyface, Teddy Riley, Foxy Brown, Lil’ Kim, P. Daddy and Ja Rule. It is telling that most of these people have little career left while Jay keeps the his coming to this day.
More importantly though: it makes for a mostly entertaining listen from start to finish, and if that’s not a good reason to pick this up I don’t know what is. Just watch out that you don’t get a whole lot of stuff you already have because it’s a rough economy, and considering the direction Jay’s career would go following these songs there is no need to make the man richer unless you absolutely have to.

Best tracks
Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)
Can’t Knock the Hustle [Radio Edit]
Imaginary Playa
Ain’t No Nigga [Original Radio Edit]
Money Ain’t a Thang
Can I Get a…
Streets Is Watching
Feelin’ It
Dead Presidents II
Wishing on a Star [D’Influence Mix Full Version]
Brooklyn’s Finest

Recommendations
If you’re unfamiliar with Jay-Z’s first three albums this is a pretty good place to start and you should pick this up.

Advertisements

Take That – Everything Changes

Take That

Everything Changes

BMG/ Sony Music Entertainment

10-11-1993

So manufactured male vocal quintet Take That (Since four of the five rarely, if ever, played any instruments they were never a band of any sorts, so the term boy band would be wrong although, if I’m being honest Gary Barlow is, in fact, a musician) got to record a second album. It’s puzzling really if you know what their debut sounded like. I do because I reviewed it (It utterly and completely sounded like crap.) But it was inevitable because said debut miraculously sold enough copies to warrant a follow-up. But let’s keep things brief. It is 1993. Robbie Williams, who would later become Europe’s biggest rock star, is still with the group. They release their worldwide smash hit of a sophomore album and become the most succesful british group since the Beatles.

That last factoid is just fucked up isn’t it?

1. Everything Changes

During the first few seconds Robbie pretends he is a serious R&B singer and straight talks to Take That’s gang rape victim his love interest in a “romantic” manner. On the Take That greatest hits album they edited this intriguing bit of prose out which is definitely for the better but it doth not a good song make. This title track was in fact a hit single but, like everything the man did while in Take That, a complete misfit to Robbie’s style. I mean it’s cute and catchy and all, but one can’t help but think he himself would never himself have elected to record this out of all the songs that are out to be sung.  So yeah. I’m not sure how Robbie managed to get the first lead twice on the first song of one of these albums by a boy band of which he wasn’t the lead singer. Maybe he hit Gary K.O. in the head with a pool ball in a sock right after the studio guy pressed “record” and then hogged the mic. Maybe that was why he eventually couldn’t be in the band anymore. The instrumental? This was written and produced by Absolute, who would later on do half of the Spice Girls’ debut. This sounds like electronic faux post-disco except for that it isn’t funky in any way, shape or form. The electronic bit means as much as that the producers were actively trying to make post-disco but couldn’t be bothered to use actual instruments. Well, except for a Kenny G-ish sax that is. Gotta love those…

2. Pray

Overly breathy and too bland to be cheesy in a entertaining way. That’s all I got, sorry.

3. Wasting My Time

I am trying to find out whom it is the boys, or rather Absolute, who produce this one too, are trying to imitate here. It could be Barry White, I suppose, but Gary vocally being the polar opposite of the late walrus of love (Barry can make your subwoofer put cracks in your wall if the volume is cranked up a bit too high by just speaking on record.) keeps that from becoming clear entirely. The nod to Barry is appreciated. I been bumping the pillow prince for a while now and still can’t get enough of his love (no homo). As for this. Meh. The songwriting and music are neither here nor there. Perhaps an actual soul singer could’ve pulled it off but Barlow’s adolescent yelp of a voice just can’t seem to do the trick.

4. Relight My Fire (feat. Lulu)

Well, there‘s that glorious early 90’s, diet cheese-music I was looking for when originally starting to listen to Everything Changes or Take That and Party for that matter. Allegedly this is a cover of a song by some cat named Dan Hartman but I never heard the original and can’t be bothered to look it up right now. This is what Jamiroquai would be doing… if Jamiroquai was a manufactured boygroup rather than a skilled band, was  singing covers of cheesy old shit rather than perform their own class A nu-disco capm and had a less soulful, less charismatic lead singer, and if this doesn’t make you tap your foot, or some shit like that, you are likely to be either a corpse or Stephen Hawking. Barlow seems to have been put on the planet to sing material like this, and the guest vocal by British, white soul kitch-diva Lulu only adds to the fun.

5. Love Ain’t Here Anymore

Well this wouldn’t be an 90’s pop album without a sugar-coated, uselessly bombastic ballad, now would it? This one here could make even the Backstreet Boys cringe with lines such as “Love ain’t here anymore, It went away to a town called yesterday”.

6. If This Is Love

Howard Donald get to do some leads. Whom did he have fellate in order for that to happen!? Nigel Martin-Smith, probanly… He is technically proficient in singing but yeah, technically so is Justin Bieber…

7. Whatever You Do To Me

A Motown rip-off? Okay, why the fuck not? Despite it’s clichéd “What Goes Around Comes Around” theme  it’s pretty decent and even the use of a saxophone makes sense.

8. Meaning of Love

Now here the boys accomplish what they probably were trying to do for the entirety of their debut. Record a decent dance tune. It’s too bad they didn’t stick around for the UK Garage era because they sound perfectly at home on this melodic (relatively speaking) house beat. Well played, gentlemen.

9. Why Can’t I Wake Up With You?

I really liked the beat which consists of drums, strings and some hiphop breaks and little more. Okay, the entire song isn’t half bad. But don’t tell anyone I said that.

10. You Are The One

Whereas this dance tune is glorious in showing all that was wrong with this particular bit of the 90’s. The melodies are corny, The instrumental is overstuffed with sound effects and the drums… well there’s nothing wrong with the drums but yeah, this song fucking godawful still.

11. Crack In My Heart

Meh. No this isn’t about Robbie’s love affair with cocain… That’d be fucking epic.

12. Broken Your Heart

Any of my comments on Meaning of Love also apply here, positive comments, mind you. I could bitch on how this song is too similar to Meaning of Love but in stead I will congratulate the boys for having found a style that did in fact fit them.

13. Babe

Okay, this Mark Owen guy is also not a terrible singer and Babe is a not-too-awful male vocal group-ballad, even if, like most of the music in this genre, is much too dramatic for its own good. The fact that this contains every single cliché this type of songs could potentially offer would either be a criticism or the lion share of the trashy appeal this holds today.  And with that Everything Changes is over.

Best tracks

Relight My Fire, Whatever You Do To Me, Meaning of Love, Why Can’t I Wake Up With You, Broken Your Heart, Babe

Conclusions

So Everything Changes is a vast improvement over Take That and Party. But then again that‘s not any sort of accomplishment. If the boys would’ve farted into their microphones over these beats it still would’ve been a vast improvement over Take That and Party. So, what then? Well, the instrumentals sound a little less cold and dead on first listen, this time around. That doesn’t mean they do very well under close scrutiny. But at least most of the songs here are inoffensive enough that you won’t be too disturbed by them when your woman forces you to go to the mall with her to carry her bags of useless, expensive shit and you are forced to endure them because the mall staff seems to believe playing adult contemporary music and yesteryear’s hits encourages big spending. Also Everything Changes is about as close to a first class, all included time machine trip to 1993 as you can get. So that counts for something, if you’re into that. I am. But the fact that this never once manages to escape its epoch also means that today it will appeal to only a very small group of people, namely 90s nostalgics. Just like todays pop music in twenty years will probably only get any love by people who are young now. If you never cared for 90’s pop, even when you were under the age of ten when this came out off course this will do nothing for you. Go back to your dubstep tracks, quickly!, before it goes out of fashion! But on to the main reason I’m reviewing these guys in the first place, Robbie motherfucking Williams. Well he gets one song on the entire album,  and not a very good one at that, so fans of his solo career should pass on this.

Recommendations

Everything Changes is quite a lot of fun at times. But not so much fun overall that you should exchange money for it. That Crystal meth habit isn’t going to support itself, ya know? But if you were a fan of the group when it was popular and you might have a copy lying around you should dust it off and give it a spin. And if you are one of those people and you can’t seem to find it, a trip to the pirate bay may be in order.


Take That – Take That and Party

Take That

Take That and Party

BMG/ Sony Music Entertainment

17-8-1992

There’s a general consensus about the early 1990’s being a terrible time for popular music. I find that to be entirely unfair. Sure, an incredible amount of bullshit was released and eagerly consumed by the record buying audiences (You see kids, way back in the day one had to go to the store and exchange money for music. Isn’t it unfortunate that you cannot steal cigarettes off the interweb? Those ironically enough were a lot cheaper and easier to come by in that day and age. They were even advertised in magazines and on tv. But I’m getting off topic here.)  In any time in the history of humanity there’s bullshit music being made to be consumed by the absolute majority of people and to be despised by a small minority, just for being popular. I believe the first half of the ‘90s were no worse than any time after 1979 since today. Therefore I’m out to find some of that good stuff. I mean in the ’70s few thought of disco as good, serious music and while today still few people do take it seriously (I guess it’s just not that kind of musical genre) a lot of people today readily recognize the art and craft behind it. So, why not ’90s pop?

Because after 15 years of bitching and moaning about one another’s personal flaws last year all members have finally regrouped, and clearly someone gives a shit because they are having a successful reunion album and tour I’m kicking this attempt off by reviewing British vocal quintet Take That’s somewhat self titled 1992 debut Take That and Party, the band was originally assembled by manager Nigel Martin-Smith who saw the stateside success of vocal boy band New Kids on the Block and thought a European, or more specifically a British equivalent would be a dandy idea. He started looking for possible members from in and around the city of Manchester.  He selected the soon-to-be members by holding auditions, not unlike those talent shows that make finding something worthwhile to watch on the telly on a Friday so goddamn difficult. Gary Barlow participated in one of these and impressed Martin-Smith so much with his singing and songwriting skills he made him the centre-piece of the group. After touring a few gay clubs and releasing a couple of ill received but mildly successful singles they started to get hugely popular among gay club-visitors and teen-aged girls alike. They were modeled, like any band containing five pretty boys singing and doing little in the instrumental department after New Edition which was itself an attempt to recreate the Jackson 5. However rather than making something retro Take That took cues from whatever artist and music genre was popular at the moment. From what I believe to be the late ’70s on there was an emergence of digital Music-making technology, kicking off with synthesizers which had to be played by actual people and today culminating in the Fruity loops generation, where everybody and their grandmother can claim to be a musician in any one of the electronic musical genres which nobody who doesn’t like to take lots of drugs at rave parties gives half a shit about (…). Take That and Party was released far beyond the point where you needed a lot of musicians in your studio to make music, all they had were a bunch of producers and Barlow, therefore minimizing the amount of people who could object against misguided and questionable ideas. Then they… O my fucking GOD why am I doing this? That title, that album cover and most importantly that story. This cannot be anything but a musical catastrophe. The music industry taking a dump on record buyers worldwide. Both actual fans and people whose children kept on bitching until they couldn’t do much but buy the fucking cd already… Oh right. Robbie Williams, the biggest rock star in Europe in the 2000s started off in this band, and singlehandedly tore it apart eventually by leaving, before rejoining it in 2010 after his solo-career went to shit. You can see half of him on the absolute right of the cover. Anyway, they released their debut album Take That and Party to decent enough success.

Let’s find out just how much torture it is listening to Take That and Party!

1. I Found Heaven

Robbie allegedly left Take That when he did because he was underexposed in the group but while Barlow is the undisputable alpha male in the group Rob does take the lead vocal on the first song of their first album. He is the best thing about I Found Heaven. The instrumental struggles to be soulful but turns out stillborn in stead. Allegedly the band hates this song with every inch of every band member’s respective body. Even though this is truly awful indeed and Gary indeed did not write it he did write some shit that is even worse than this, most of which is also on this album, so his incessant claims that this is the worst song of Take That’s or his own career (did he ever really have a career outside of the group?) is not wholly justified.

2. Once You’ve Tasted Love

This instrumental showcases the horrible, horrible, horrible electronic musical genre the primitive computers of the late 80’s and early ’90s blurred out, seemingly without human input, called eurodance. Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, James Brown, Marvin Gaye, and Aretha Franklin together could not have breathed life into it if ever they tried. Also, to add insult to even more insult those cheesy female backing vocals and those goddamn sound effects make this a lot worse than, let’s just say I Found Heaven… To make things the absolute worst, Take That seems to be an incredibly earnest band which isn’t even a bit ironic about their music. Fuck.

3. It Only Takes a Minute

What’s said about the previous two tracks mostly rings true for this one as well, but this works somewhat better because it more fun (fun is completely underrated in the process of music making), albeit in an incredibly cheesy way.

4. A Million Love Songs

Wow, even more cheesy… Oh wait I’m listening to a British boy band album recorded and released in the early ‘90s. I must keep that in mind before making more such comments. Anyway, this song, like most of this album, was written by lead vocalist/ main songwriter Gary Barlow he and this was actually pretty decent. Rather than robotic piano keys sprinkled over robotic beats like disco dip on an shit-flavored ice cream cone we get an actual sax over some drums you won’t mind, even without the aid of mdma. Just for sounding more organic than the three tracks preceding it A Million Love Songs automatically sound better but it’s also a decent love song in and by itself, with semi-clever, heartfelt lyrics soulfully and sincerely sung by Gary. Not the best song ever recorded or anything but passable nonetheless.

5. Satisfied

More outdated euro-trash but this time with a more obvious disco influence. Unlike disco I don’t think the majority dance music from this particular genre and time will ever appeal to anyone who wasn’t a young or very very high when it came out. I suppose Bieber fans should check this out if they want to understand how I feel about their hero with music from the future not being available, and all.

6. I Can Make It

That doesn’t mean all or even most of the ballads fare any better. It should be noted that this type of song is oft imitated and often done better by ‘bands’ or their greedy management and production crew who found it necessary to be influenced by this album’s sound.

7. Do What You Like

Any comment I could give about Do What You Like I have already wasted on earlier Take That and Party’s earlier epic failures. I can warn you about its video. That shit is way too disturbing for what is supposed to be a band aimed at young teenagers, although since Take That was also there for the gay clubs it does make some sense. Alas, what’s seen cannot be unseen, dear readers.

8. Promises

I’m beginning to think most of the synths used in the creation of this album were used solely utilized because they were available, not because of any underlying musical idea. When I started listening to Take that and Party I hoped for a hilarious and somewhat intriguing look into the world of pop music around twenty years ago. Alas, most of this album is rather a boring-as-fuck look into the world of pop music of around twenty years ago. For some strange reason I found that Barlow sounds a bit like David Bowie at the beginning of this song. Not that that should be seen as any sort of comparison between Barlow and Bowie as artists, because if I did that my house would be shelled by Bowie fanatics.

9. Why Can’t I Wake Up With You

While I like the hiphop influence this track shows it is more likely bandwagon-jumping than anything else. Also this song sucks, blows, is not good. At all.

10. Never Want to Let You Go

The guitars or crappy 1992 synths pretending to be guitars give this an extremely mild reggae vibe. Unfortunately Barlow doesn’t appear to have the balls to attempt to piss off everyone of Caribbean descent hearing this by adopting a faux Jamaican accent…

11. Give Good Feeling

This song is the audio equivalent of the car breaking down and smoke coming out of the engine… before the whole thing blows to bits off course. This is that kind of party.

12. Could It Be Magic

A Barry Manilow cover. I guess nobody should surprised about this, especially me since at this point I’ve almost heard the entirety of this album. At least hearing the few Williams-led tracks, of which Could It Be Magic is one, are interesting to see what this boy band led to or conversely where Williams started his career. Not that that makes this a good song or some impossible shit like that… Apparently this has won a BRIT award in 1993. Don’t want to fucking know what kind songs lost to this.

13. Take that and Party

And this album is over, oh and for those of you who give half a shit, surprise surprise! The title tracks is just as boring and bloodless as the rest of it.

Best track

A Million Love Songs

Conclusions

There may have been some good music made in the early ‘90s but Take That and Party contains very little of it. By trying to be really, really hip in and using the latest technology of 1992 Take That and Party sounds dated beyond belief. Basically the production sounds like Thake That’s producers intended them to be a Milli Vanilli rip-off. There is one song that still barely works today. That song is listed above. The other 12 tracks are one long suckfest. Whilst I am against the term ‘commercial music’ because that describes any music by an artist or band who would like to sell a lot of records I believe Take That and Party is definitely over-commercial because attempts at creating anything with any artistic merit is thrown overboard without anything to help it stay afloat. This album was solely made for separating as many people from their money as possible. Still, Barlow and Williams in particular aren’t bad singers and they recorded two more albums before breaking up in 1996, with different producers than they utilized here. Therefore I may someday review their sophomore Everything Changes if I am so inclined.

Recommendations

The only song that’s worth checking out is A Million Love Songs, but people with a cheese allergy should avoid that one too as it may very well mean the death of ‘em. The rest of it needs not, nay.. may not be revisited, even for nostalgia reasons!

Please leave your comments, concerns, death threats, shout-outs to your mother, idea’s and suggestions in the comment section. Don’t be shy! You can even use an anonymous guest account if the content of your comment is too vile for you to use your Facebook account!