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  NIGHTSPOTS

With You in 4/4
by Peter Mavrik
2004-06-30

This article shared 1509 times since Wed Jun 30, 2004
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Bringing us his seventh studio album, Lenny Kravitz has again fused his soulful rhythms with poetic lyrics on Baptism. The album opens with "Minister Of Rock And Roll", a classic sounding Kravitz track filled with his signature soaring vocals. From there it's a journey across nearly every genre we've heard him perform before, yet instead of sounding like he's repeating his work, there's a fresh twist on each track. Among the highlights is the beautiful ballad "Calling All Angels", setting him at the piano with gentle strings and wind instruments. "Sistamamalover" funks up the groove with a thumpy bass against a rocking electric guitar. With an innocent beginning, "Baptized" starts out like an acoustic indie track and builds into a beautifully arranged vocal symphony, complete with the gospel diva Tawatha Agee on background vocals. With a name like Tawatha Agee, you know the track has soul. Closing out the album is "Destiny." It's just Lenny, an acoustic guitar, and a beautiful telling story about his life; a perfect close to a well rounded album.

On the dance scene, Kiko Navarro, a DJ and producer nearly ten years on the scene, has created a deliciously happy underground track called "Mama's Calling." It's a mix of Spanish guitar and African rhythms poised against a storyteller speaking of Mother Earth and how she's calling out to her children to take care of her. The message stands out clear, but the beautifully happy beats and horns light up the dance floor. This one never fails to get people smiling and moving.

Mario Ochoa has mixed tribal house with Colombian folk music into the kind of track that instantly raises the energy of a club. "Habla Con La Luna" (He Talks To The Moon) is a masterful remix of the traditional call-and-response folk song "El Pescador" (The Fisherman) from Colombia. It's a harder edged track with a darker groove that tribals you all the way through. An omnipresent bass kick and syncopated rim hits set the stage for the magic of the filtered Spanish vocals. When the song finally breaks down, there's not a person left on the floor that doesn't have their hands in the air.

And closing this week out, my personal favorite; Joey Negro has remixed Martin Solveig's "Rockin' Music" into a song that I've been know to play more than twice in a night. I'm not one to fall for most male-vocal dance songs, but hands down this is the winner. It's a spare song, with only a few rhythm patterns and a happy saxophone that dances around the whole song. The singers vocals are part of the song, not over it, fueling the happy core that seems to make the crowds hoot and holler for more. The message is simple: "rockin' music... sets you free." The perfect metaphor for what a dance floor should be.

With you in 4/4,

Peter Mavrik

petermavrik@hotmail.com


This article shared 1509 times since Wed Jun 30, 2004
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