Our good friend has given us his track by track review of the new album from Alcazar, ‘Disco Defenders’. And it all sounds rather spiffing! Granted, he’s a mega fan, but he’s never one to exaggerate or sensationalise. So here you go;
1. ‘We Keep On Rockin” – 10/10
“Check your connections, here’s a solid four on the floor…”
We’ve all heard this one now, and it’s definitely in my all time Alcazar top 5. I think it’s a defining song in their career and worked a treat as their glorious comeback single. The accompanying video confirmed that Lina deserved her place in my favourite pop band of all time too! The album version is identical to the single except the ‘Ooooooooh’ breakdown before the middle eight is extended. A fabulous start to a fabulous album.
2. ‘Burning’ – 10/10
“I can see your face in front of me, you’re in my every dream. In every feverish fantasy, scary how real it seems.”
Without a shadow of a doubt, the best shot at UK success Alcazar have ever had, and I can’t wait for it to be released in the UK later this year. It fuses their traditional disco sound with the more contemporary pop/house sound that’s giving the likes of Star Pilots, Velvet and September international hits. Absolutely fantastic. It’s more generic than a lot of Alcazar records, in that I can imagine someone else singing it but it really is top of the class when it comes to these sort of records.
3. ‘Stay The Night’ – 10/10
“Everybody’s looking for that pot of gold. Trouble is they find it and they still don’t know…”
My favourite of all their Melodifestivalen entries, it’s just SO relentless. The pace never lets up during this song. The performance, for me, is up there with Carola’s 2006 performance in terms of seeing an artist at the very top of their game. I just adore it.
4. ‘From Brazil With Love’ – 9/10
“I grabbed a cab down to Copacabana, I think I saw the girl from Ipanema…”
Co-written by Danny Saucedo, this is a glorious Brazilian / bossa nova pastiche with quite chunky beats. It wasn’t instant for me particularly but it only took a couple of listens for it to really connect. It’s as camp as they come lyrically and it’s exactly what Alcazar should sound like in 2009.
5. ‘Inhibitions’ – 10/10
“If you see me running, change my navigation. You can have my number, you don’t have to look it up.”
The second single from the album wasn’t anywhere near as successful as the first but I absolutely love it. It was great to hear them do something a bit different and including (shock horror) guitars in the mix. The chorus was pure Alcazar though. It does sound a little out of place on the album, but a welcome addition nonethless.
6. ‘Harlem Nights’ – 7/10
“And the boys lit cigarettes with a sneer. And the girls wore jasmine behind their ears.”
This one has been improving with each listen. I wasn’t keen on it at all to start with, but it’s grown massively already. It almost sounds like it should be in a musical like Chicago and still features the camp lyrics that are pretty synonymous with Alcazar songs. It’s still very much a disco record, but it’s good to hear them doing something a bit different.
7. ‘Baby’ – 9/10
“Summer comes and you need someone. The way I’m feeling right now, I can’t wait for that summer sun.”
Pet Shop Boys are responsible for this little gem. I always prefer their songs when sung by other singers and this is no exception. It’s a gloriously understated pop record and is so smooth and velvety. I much prefer it to ‘Love Life’, their previous collaboration.
8. ‘Jump Straight Into The Fire’ – 8/10
“Ignite me, excite me, you got my motor running”
Of all the songs on this album, this one sounds most like it could have been directly lifted from one of their previous albums. It’s absolute fluff, but expertly done. The lyrics are just dancefloor friendly nonsense. It actually reminds me a little of ‘Sexual Guarantee’.
9. ‘My My Me & Mine’ – 10/10
“As a kid at Camp Chickabear, I sewed my name inside my underwear. Carved my initials on a big oak tree, I had a well developed sense of me…”
The most fabulous ode to self-involvement EVER! This is SO much fun. It’s the sort of track only an act with as much personality as Alacazar could pull off without sounding like idiots. Disco harmonies, piano, electro beats… absolute perfection. This is everything I hoped this album would be.
11. ‘Put The Top Down’ – 7/10
“Gotta stop and buy some shades now, never mind the UV rays”
This is an odd one. It’s a really summery ode to driving in the sunshine with the top down. It’s beyond twee, but it does have a real charm about it. You can definitely feel the sunshine pouring out of it, and the harmonies are cute. I think some people might really hate it though.
12. ‘Thank You’ – 10/10
“I couldn’t believe the first moment, that music could sound like you do. I’m paying the tribute for loving like I do, cos knowing you is knowing me…”
So, if the last one sounded out of place, this one sounds like it came from another planet! It’s a three minute schlager anthem in the same vein as ‘Thank You For The Music’. Pure Abba-pastiche, key change and all, it’s one of the most fun things I think they’ve ever recorded and it works fabulously as the closing track as a bit of a curve-ball. It doesn’t take itself seriously at all, and I think it’s going to become a real fan favourite.