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  NIGHTSPOTS

With you in 4/4
by Peter Mavrik
2004-11-03

This article shared 1484 times since Wed Nov 3, 2004
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Wasn't that Saturday Night Live with Ashlee Simpson just a hoot? I suspected there was some Milli Vanilli action going on in her performances, but this confirms it. For those of you who missed it, during her second performance, the music started with the wrong song and her "guide vocal" was playing loud and clear.

What's a "guide vocal"? Well, it's basically a track that she lip synchs with, and if she feels like singing (and has a good sound man) they can balance her voice and the track to create a bigger sound. Note to all pop stars: Do your homework, drop the guide tracks when you're live, and I might consider buying your albums. After all, you're making how many more millions than I am? Far be it from me to suggest you actually sing.

Bitterness aside, it's time for some good old self-loving. No, you dirty birdies, I don't mean THAT kind of self loving. I mean the kind where you treat yourself to a relaxing evening at home.

Slip into your favorite set of pajamas, pour a deliciously large glass of bubbly, fire up the fondue pot (you DO have a fondue pot, don't you?), and pop a copy of "Pink Panther's Penthouse Party" into your CD player.

Again, quiet down your naughty thoughts, it's not that kind of Penthouse. Think chic modern-day lounge with a dash of jazz and a twist of soul. It's all here on this brilliant compilation put out by Virgin Records.

What Pink Panther album would be complete without the original 1964 theme song? You movie buffs out there will delight in the wonderfully remastered version. And the rest of you will enjoy three inventive remixes that Fischerspooner, Malibu, and even St. Germain have created.

But the guts of this CD isn't the Panther themes. It's the carefully chosen lounge tracks. There's a ramped up version of the original "Fever" by Peggy Lee. Pizzicato Five (a stellar Japanese band) has reinvented "The Girl From Ipanema". The chart topping hit "Weapon of Choice" by FatBoy Slim brings the groove up, and Dmitri from Paris will bossa-nova you back down with "Sacre Francais".

The list continues with hit after hit. The Fantastic Plastic Machines' "Bachelor Pad" rocks the center of the playlist, followed by Arling & Camerons' beautifully deep lounge cut "Voulez-Vous". There's Nicola Conte with "Bossa Per Due" and Mocean Worker with "Tres Tres Chic", both of which you have probably heard but could never name the artist.

It's a wonderfully comfortable compilation. Some serious thought went into the track placement. The groove rides up and down throughout the disc. In my spotlight is the sugar-coated "Summer Sun" by Koop featuring the vocals of Yukimi Nagano. It's essential modern-day lounge; a genre that more people are discovering they like, and wishing they'd gotten into sooner.

NOTE: Chocolate fondue with strawberries works VERY well with this CD.


This article shared 1484 times since Wed Nov 3, 2004
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