Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Album review: "Exotica", Bananarama

"I see the stars in your eyes where our universe collides." Starz

i didn't intend to post two album reviews by the same artists in a row, but i can't fully express my excitement when i found Exotica on iTunes this past friday! i first discovered Exotica on a trip to paris in 2007 for eighty euros, nearly one hundred american dollars. as i was still a student in art school, i had to pass. i would learn the price was substantial because the record was extremely rare. on said friday i came across the record by accident while i was beginning to make a weekend playlist for one of two small parties my partner and i were hosting. the record proved to be perfect for the events, as it has for the car, and for the gym.

Exotica was released in 2001/02, in france only, with very little promotion - only two singles, If, and a cover of george michael's, Careless Whispers. from my understanding, the album was intended to be mostly re-recorded mixes of bananarama's classic hits from the '80s and '90s. instead the record only contains four, the latin version of, Cruel Summer, being the best, and the horrible karaoke type remix of, I Heard a Rumour, being the worst. i quite enjoy the original material and can't stress enough what great songwriters band-mates sara dallin and keren woodward make. Crazy and Sleep are beautiful in their description of the heartache of a bad breakup and speak from the heart. the album contains gorgeous voice arrangements of dallin and woodward ooze sex in several tracks. What You Gonna Do? in particular demonstrates the erotic tone as dallin and woodward whisper and demand for answers. what i like most about Exotica is the mix of rock, alternative, and funk - yes, funk. possibly my favorites besides, Sleep, are, Boom, and Got a Thing For You with severe modern day disco hooks that force your hips to move as you boogie along.

i've been listening to this unrecognized eighth album from banarama for the last few days and i've begun to enjoy it a little more each time. no doubt re-released for bananrama fans in appreciation of the group's momentous thirtieth anniversary, Exotica is well done. uniquely all its own, this record should be firmly recognized amid the more well-known records like, True Confessions, Wow, Drama, and bananarama's latest album, Viva.

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