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The albums have been graded on the most common grading system used in Finnish schools. Where 4 is the worst, and 10 is the best. The final score for the album is most of the times the average for all of the tracks, though it can also change if the reviewer wishes so. The Super Eurobeat Non-Stop albums will be reviewed as full collections, and the individual songs won't be reviewed, unless they are completely new. Though Euromach and JGTC albums for example will have complete song by song reviews.
The grading system simply goes as ie. 4- (3,75), 4 (4), 4+ (4,25) and 4˝ (4,5) and the next one again would be 5-. A simple system we have over here in Finland.

  Super Eurobeat 196

2.Kate Rush - One Day (Dima Music)
After the examplatory presentation by Dima on 195 he keeps flying sky high with an another energetic and catchy piece of eurobeat art. One Day creates a warm feeling and while the song has a bit of a masculine touch to it, it still ends up sounding different enough from the upfront macho attacks á la King Of The World. Vocals manage to bring in a lot of extra edge and that mainly works due to the nice key changes and the small bits of pitch changes fit the track perfectly. There's a slight Disney-esque feel to the track which does create a family-oriented feel to it, safe and warm.
Rating :

3.Y. & Co. Feat. Domino - Monkey Dance '09 (Avex / Y. & Co. LTD)
When the original Monkey Dance came out I was instantly swept away by the happy mood and catchy engrish. It does make sense to bring the track to SEB as well and who else would've been a better vocalist to redo it than Domino? There are just some twists along the road... Some of the original tracks upfront energy has been lost with the remade synths that sound too cold and metallic, they can't really bring that positive touch to the song anymore. Vocals in the original were wonky and wrong on so many levels, yet they sounded really fun and good in the end. Domino sadly can't really bring in the same amount of silliness and while there's not much to complain about the performance, it still just doesn't feel as genuine and memorable. A good song that lost a lot of its edge with this remake.
Rating :

4.Veronica - Mamma Mia (Eurogrooves)
If you don't know the original then you've missed out a lot. The amount of cover versions made from this ABBA classic is just mindboggling, so why not do it the eurobeat way? Unfortunately Eurogrooves weren't the first ones to do it, since Beat Tunes ~Energy~ already provided one version... which stunk, but still. Annerley putting out a good show helps make this cover a surprisingly efficient version, and it somehow comes off as way more variable and entertaining than a lot of the past remakes the label has made. The happy tone of the track helps Annerley sound completely different from the recent slightly melancholic tunes and it fits her very well. Nice sounds, nice vocals and a classic song to build it all upon yields an efficient lil' cover.
Rating : 9-

5.Dave Rodgers - Love In The Elevator (A-Beat C)
What's with the sudden m.o.v.e. meets Dave Rodgers in a club? Love In The Elevator is so refreshingly different and catchy I was totally not expecting something like it. The song keeps balancing between really classic eurobeat sounds that are really efficient and a more mature acoustic rock'mood. The two different sides of the song at first seem to be clashing a whole lot, but by time they suddenly click together perfectly. The heavy use of guitars does sound fairly predictable so the more light and upbeat eurobeat synth stands out in a good way from the rest of the song. A good improvement from the previous song by far, but I doubt this track has the balls to make it to a real eurobeat classic.
Rating : 8+

6.Delta Queens - Bye Bye Tokyo (Delta)
I've said it before and I will say it again: Delta Queens never seem to let you down. Bye Bye Tokyo brings out everything good about Delta out and to the open. This instantly infectious tune is everything a good eurobeat song is about. Catchy, energetic and so irresistible you'll be sure to keep humming to the chorus for days. Clara shows her usual strong vocal capabilities with the song, the funky and a bit engrish-y lyrics just fit the track perfectly. I do have to bow down to Delta yet again and wonder how they manage to combine this superior title with such memorable presentations time after time.
Rating : 10

7.Jay Lehr - Bright Time (SCP)
After a breathtaking energy faire we are taken to a completely different setting. Jay Lehr brings in tranquility and beauty with his newest masterpiece. Bright Time has a really calming touch that manages to make me feel all relaxed and soothed. The song follows a midpace tempo without sounding like a ballad, the minor disco-esque elements add in a nice flavor, without making the song sound too much like the 70's. It is really enjoyable to notice that SCP has found a very efficient style that Jay can follow, since it fits his vocals just perfectly. He could be one of those western male pop singers with a guitar and love songs that make all the girls swoon. A really beautiful presentation yet again by Mr. Lehr.
Rating :

8.April - Hanami (SCP)
A new name from SCP who follows a very similar path as Ai Yamamoto with a slightly dreamy athmosphere. Hanami is a song about the beauty of the spring and it can really deliver the message the lyrics are about. The song has a feeling like the whole natura would be awakening from slumber after the long cold winter. The beautiful melody helps make the song really memorable, the only complaint would be the pitched vocals that sound simply too thin and wavery to really bring anything important for the song. This track could have been performed by a different female surely and it might've been even catchier. Now it falls somewhere along the rather neutral ground with a good melody and a nice mood, but lacking vocals.
Rating : 8-

9.Futura - Give Me Sunshine (A-Beat C)
The new A-Beat C vocalist is here to fill in the large shoes that Nuage left behind her. Give Me Sunshine just sounds closer to the material we could expect to hear from Norma Sheffield and not Nuage. Futura as a vocalist sounds a bit mouse-like, as if she was afraid to sing and let her voice really out. The same effect has often been combined with Norma which is basically why I keep getting intense feelings of dejá vu here. Give Me Sunshine is a calm presentation with a nice balance of acoustic and electric elements, but the real flaw is the boring melody. None of the specific parts of the track really manage to arouse interest which leaves you wanting some more punchlines and some wow-factor.
Rating :

10.Starkly Ice - Stargate (HI-NRG Attack)
There's something awfully wrong with this song here. The whole song sounds like it was played in a hollow barrel or recorded from a casette and then converted to the CD. That's also not the only problem, but the whole song also suffers from lack of oomph. Verses and chorus sound rather identical and if you cut out the pieces and played them in a random order, it's hard to really tell what goes where. The only really memorable and good part about the track is the c-melody that has a space-like feel that fits the title. Just one of those tracks that gets forgotten instantly once it ends.
Rating : 6

11.Queen 26 - Upside Down (Delta)
With the bubbly and girly Queen 26 tracks it's hard to feel sad or upset. This song has been packed full of juvenile joy for life, it sounds so genuinely happy it's irresistible. Occasionally the happier songs do sound slightly forced and even irritating but that's definitely not the case with Upside Down. Vocals manage to brew up a cloud of happy thoughts and when that is combined with a catchy melody the result is an instant classic. If you want to feel good, then Queen 26 is here to cater that for you, just spin her around and round.
Rating : 10

12.Rich Hard - Pirates (A-Beat C)
Rich joins the ranks of A-Beat C's male vocalists with a yarr-esque theme. Pirates sounds faintly similar to the early productions by Matt Land, it does sound like there has been a lot of effort put into the song, but it's still not quite the similar classic debut as Killer Queen was for Matt. The idea of using Pirates as a theme is nice, but it does feel like they didn't really take the thought all the way. There's basically nothing reminding you of the said theme, the lyrics do have some fitting wording but still... where are the parrots, waves and cannons? I do have to admit that the song does come off as a relatively nice opener for Rich, but it definitely isn't packed with enough goods to become a hit.
Rating :

13.Tora - King And Queen (Classic Mix) (SinclaireStyle)
We just recently had a remake of Try Me, Fantasy and now King And Queen make a comeback as well, it does seem that they are intending to remake all of the old legends. While this track is a classic without a doubt, the problem is that it's been replayed way too much. So I wasn't too thrilled to hear how Sinclaire managed to redo it, but what do ya know he pulled it off with class. I don't know where he suddenly pulled all this talent since the remake sounds every bit as catchy and memorable as the original, but with a much more modern approach. Sounds are really effective and Roberta's vocals fit the track just as well as the originals, if not better. A very refreshing approach from Sinclaire, although I gotta say I have a hard time liking all the "COME ON!!!11" and similar samples he has a tendency to include in his tracks.
Rating :

14.Giorgia V. - Shot Shot Shot (Go Go's Music)
After Race Queen opened up the way to eurobeat stardom for Giorgia we've been waiting for her Go Cosplay track for a while, but instead we are treated to a similar theme with Shot Shot Shot. With a vocalist who is used to performing for masses as a cosplayer it's just fitting to sing about being the object of the camera. Shot Shot Shot sounds bubbly and catchy, but like Race Queen it seems to be missing that final touch that would have made it an instant hit. Now the vocals sound very similar to Domino and although the song itself is fun to listen to, it can't exactly create that similar originality as Domino often does. A good track, but that just leaves us craving for Go Cosplay!
Rating :


Final Words :
The harsh reality is that after an album with such a strong line-up the only way is down. Super Eurobeat 196 is in no means a bad album and it offers quite a few really awesome tracks, but it does fall into the general level of SEBs. The theme "Vitamin Pop" doesn't exactly seem to really describe the album in any way, since the styles and moods range from one end to the other. But it doesn't really matter much in the long run, can basically consider this just your every day SEB without the silly title attached to it. Delta were reigning the level of the album with their two songs, the other great tracks don't either get left that far behind. A really nice album without any real bad songs in the mix which is definitely refreshing. An album worth getting acquinted with. The 3 new vocalists on the album all present rather variable tracks but can't really compete with the older elites.

Final Score : 8+

The Best 3 songs

- Delta Queens - Bye Bye Tokyo
- Queen 26 - Upside Down
- Kate Rush - One Day


The Worst 3 Songs

- Starkly Ice - Stargate
- Futura - Give Me Sunshine
- Y. & Co. Feat. Domino - Monkey Dance '09


Honorable Mention

- Tora - King And Queen (Classic Mix)

Labels present on the album:


A-Beat C: 3
Avex: 1
Delta
: 2
Dima Music: 1
Eurogrooves: 1
Go Go's Music
: 1
HI-NRG Attack: 1
SCP: 2
Sinclaire Style: 1

Reviewed by Bore