Tag Archives: Surrender

367. Various Artists – “Dirty Dancing” (Soundtrack)

And thus I take the greatest risk at marital disharmony of my reviews so far.

This record is a definite favourite of my wife Catherine, and one I make many unnecessarily snide comments about.

So, I’ve been overly cautious and given this album many more listens of the past couple of days than it deserves.

Sure, I don’t like the associated film and all it represents, but perhaps the tunes sound good when released from the visual prison of Swayze’s snake-hips and Grey’s whininess.  Alas, that is not the case.

This collection is a testament to all that is wrong about mid-’80s Hollywood’s interactions with the music scene.  All too often pompous, over-produced no name bands (and desperate lead singers going solo) were trotted in to pump out grandiose facsimiles of genuine genres.  That’s what goes on here.

The Blow Monkeys commit fraud, pretending to be early ’60s crooners, not British pomp-popsters.  The lead singer of Surrender (a third-rate Foreigner) cribs Peter Gabriel’s Sledgehammer.

And I’d prefer to not to acknowledge the contributions of Carmen, E., and Medley & Warnes who have left their mark irrevocably on the world of Karaoke.

The actual highlights on here are the genuine late ’50s and early ’60s from the Ronettes, Bruce Channel and Mickey & Sylvia. The lowpoint of not just this album, but surely my entire collection is The Swayze Incident/War-Crime:

File under: I need a shower

166. The Chemical Brothers – “Surrender”

Album Cover Chemical Brothers Borthers Bros SurrenderThe party continues in my office. The bass in pumping, the crowd are swinging their arms around like they just don’t care (whoever does care about their arms swinging around (other than in the presence of low ceiling fans)?) and the sniffer dogs are having a field day.

OK, that’s all wishful thinking (other than the dogs… and the bass).

Irrespective, I’ve been having fun. This is a pretty strong album. It features one of this insanely catchy songs you’ve probably danced to too many times (well, I have) – this one:

There are some very familiar voices on here, including a blast from my past New Order‘s Bernard Sumner doing that whole dry, talkie vocal thing that has worked well on so many tunes. And Hope Sandoval from Mazzy Star sounds as breathy and spacey as ever.

There’s also a vocoder riff on the opener that had me doing Kraftwerk impressions all day (“Musique non-stop, techno-pop”).

So the upshot, is the CBs showcase their roots, and their diversity (Noel Gallagher also gets a rockier workout) and deliver a solid collection. It doesn’t have the consistency of their debut, but it’s still a fiesta of fun.

File under: Buckle under to the beats