Friday, April 20, 2012

Album review: "Viva", Bananarama

"Got a hand full of dreams." Extraordinary

i tried desperately to make this review shorter than it is, but ultimately i found i could not. something about this record prevents me to love this tenth album from bananarama to the degree it probably deserves. a lot is right, but a plausible effort to keep their sound "current" erases what makes bananarama unique.

because i have been in love with the duo of sara dallin and keren woodward since their early '80s debut with siobhan fahey and i've been infatuated with their 2005 studio album, Drama, i was ecstatic with the news that bananarama was set to release their latest album in 2009, almost three years ago. what's more, the two singles released from the album, love comes and love don't live here are infectious dance pop with catchy hooks that can be played over and over. because i loved the first two songs i was rather surprised how moody the rest of the album came across. Viva is not any less sophisticated or stylistic since dallin and woodward began producing music on their own in '93. rather tracks like seventeen, tell me tomorrow, and extraordinary are especially melancholic with the heavy synth sound in each song. it begins to outweigh the girls' melodies. the synth sound seems to drown out some of the life of bananarama's voices - it's just over used throughout the album. on their own, beautiful songs, but together it becomes too much. this isn't to say that, Viva, is an unenjoyable album. were it to have slightly more variation in sound and possibly a ballad feel or two to match past songs like trick of the night, movin' on, or middle of nowhere -- i would love this album to the extreme i feel for '88's True Confessions, '91's Pop Life, '93's Please Yourself, '95's Ultra Violet, and Drama. this is a good album - very good - and besides the album's singles, tell me tomorrow, the runner, dum dum boy, and we've got the night are fun songs with that special bananarama magic.

2012 marks the 30th anniversary of bananarama and the girls continue to tour across the world. word is bananarama may even come to the states to celebrate with their american fans! if so, i hope they perform past songs from the '80s and '90s, but also from, Viva. i'm also ready for the girls to release an eleventh album and continue to spread their viable and contagious music that's celebrated worldwide by old and new fans.

read my blog about bananarama's 30th anniversary here

UPDATE: i discovered swell remixes of the Viva record! i love the tokyo joe BUK my enemy mix!

1 comment:

  1. I just love longevity in popular music. The fact that these women have had different sounds, looks, and the like regardless of commercial success wins them respect in my book. They are working that cover.-QH