Reviews: Back to Index
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 4½ (4,5) and the next one again would be 5-. A simple system we have over here in Finland.
Super Eurobeat 221
1.SEB All Stars Feat. DJ Boss - SEB 4 U (Power Mix) (SCP/All)
A long year without eurobeat has done it's toll on most of us, can an all-star collaboration rekindle our love for the music? SEB 4 U pairs up a hefty amount of eurobeat legends so in theory it can't fail, right? For a SEB All Stars production the song is fitting, but it definitely could've used some extra oomph around the bass-edges. Melody wise the track hits the spot as the verses and chorus are really catchy, but it seems to lack the final layer and most importantly bass. While the bass beats have rarely been the biggest factor in eurobeat producers, it's when they are this transparent that you really notice it. A great melody with lots of awesome vocals are enough to make this an enjoyable song, I just maybe was hoping for something even... better? Either way, a good re-introduction to the eurobeat world.
2.An-G - Different Girl (SCP)
A new title right off the bat and as said by SCP an all new vocalist as well, bring it on! I might be imagining things but I feel that this girl has been doing her homework as she feels perfectly at home in the eurobeat world. The track and vocals have a very strong Mickey B. vibe to them which is definitely a great trait as there's never too much of this type of eurobeat. The track has a sophisticated aura to it, which makes it feel really mature and catchy. The song manages to blend in some of the most classic eurobeat elements with a more contempory pop-feel which create an instantly memorable style. A very catchy song with great vocals. A great example of how a debut should be like.
3.Dejo & Bon - Loving Eurobeat (SinclaireStyle)
Bratt, like all of the eurobeat producers has had time to finetune and plan out the "comeback entries" for the label so this title feels fairly calculated. Initially when I unwrapped the album and played through the entries I went past this track without even remembering it existed on the album. The edge seemed to be non-existant and everything just felt generic. But after some heavy airplay the song started to stand out a bit, but maybe not working as intended. The song has a strong macho-vibe to it, which should please a lot of the listeners but for my liking the track just has very few hooks that essentially form a great eurobeat song. A good chorus is what the song does deliver, but I'm feeling a bit bothered by those classic words in such a heavy use. I understand Bratt is aiming to produce a song which brings the essence of eurobeat into a song form, but it all feels so 90s. In my eyes this track is like a re-designed Dr. Love - Eurobeat. Just not as catchy. In the end, the song does get better with repetition and is not bad by any means, it just lacks real originality to make it a classic. Not my cuppa eurobeat.
4.Stephy Martin - Power & Love (Dima Music)
Stephy has strongly grasped a hold of eurobeat lovers with her more pop-esque style and she's back for more. Power & Love feels like a direct sequel to the awesome Fever Of Love and feels like a safe bet from Dima. While there's nothing wrong with producing songs that have similar elements, occasionally there's just so much you can do with the same ingredients. Power & Love sounds strong and catchy from the get-go, but time isn't as soft on it as it was on Loving Eurobeat. There is nothing essentially wrong with the song, but it just needs more raw power to reach the status of Stephy's best productions
Rating : 7
5.Bamboo Bimbo - Kiss (SCP)
Another new entry, which unlike An-G, feels familiar yet odd at the same time. Eurobeat has had a long history with distorting vocalists to be unrecognizable and this track is definitely moving in some muddy waters. Bamboo Bimbo might be a new vocalist who knows, but the truth is only known by SCP. The reality though is that no matter the vocalist, there's some incredible power offered for us on a gold plate. Kiss is an explosive package of eurobeat energy with a stunningly great chorus, unlike anything we've heard in quite a while. Female (?) vocals paired up with a testosterone filled eurobeat world feels like a match made in heaven for my liking. The Go 2-esque melody and fat sounds are a perfect ground for the funky vocals. Pretty much everything about this songs fall in place and it really has been quite a while since I fell in love with any song quite like this one.
6.Dave Rodgers - 1 Fire (Sunfire Records)
Like in the past, I was highly skeptical about having a new Dave song appear on SEB, but I should leave my prejudices behind and just be open to new experiences. 1 Fireproved this to me. Dave has finally put up a show that feels reminiscient of the awesome entries he released in the 160s. The song has a great chorus, some of that old vocal energy Giancarlo has been known for and a nice production all around. Similar complaints I've had in the past about Sunfire releases are still present though. Sounds just seem to lack the final layer that would've made the song the new Space Invader or Eldorado. The lack of finalization is still a minor complaint as there's a great song to be had here. Good to have Dave back with a vengeance.
7.Tipsy & Tipsy - Down Down Down (Asia/Saifam)
Saifam persists even though the community seems to be thinking they are slowly withering away. Down Down Down fortunately takes us back to the more upbeat and memorable material most have been missing. The song is a slightly bewildering mixture of eurobeat elements and a more traditional european dancepop. The song feels like something you could easily imagine to hear from a 90's dancepop band, which is surely enough to drive some people away. A simple melody paired with a great chorus build a good ground for the track. Structurewise the track really could've use more originality, but it still manages to remain fun and enjoyable even after multiple replays which I initially didn't expect. A month of repetition is usually a good landmark for me to recognize which songs are worth my time in the long run and which aren't. Down Down Down is nothing groundbreaking but a simple n' fun dancemusic. Next time, maybe some more eurobeat elements included.
8.Cy-Ro - Born To Be Wild In My Car (HI-NRG Attack)
Cy-Ro has slowly become my most disliked HRG title and it seems to be unavoidable even now. There are some very specific kind of tracks paired with the title that I just don't get at all, like Born To Be Wild In My Car feels totally void of any musical soul. The song has some moments where the sounds feel nifty, but everytime the vocals start the irritation also kicks in. All in all, there's very little positive to be said about the entry as it seems to be a perfect example of the elements of HRG that I just do not enjoy: Silly lyrics, "classic" HRG sounds and lots of repetition with zero hooks.
9.Powerful T. - Kelly (A-Beat C)
When the track originally surfaced as a ParaPara coreography this song sounded nicely fresh and soothing. But what the coreography brought for the song just isn't found alongside the recorded entry. Powerful T. has been a fairly solid title that rarely has literally bad songs, but Kelly is dangerously close to a total miss. What needs to be noted that it's an actual A-Beat C entry from the older years, but I would also guess it's from the years after Sandro & Alessandra left the label as it seems to have that dementor-touched feel to it. The only positive traits about the track are the vocals which do feel rather elevated and emotional, but they alone can't really bring much structure to a chaos.
10.Scream Team - Wacky Wacky-O! (SCP)
If anyone claims this song doesn't bring something totally unexpected and special to the plate, then you might wanna get your hearing checked out. Scream Team in essence has been like a second all-stars team for SCP since all of the tracks have been pretty much perfect eurobeat classics and Wacky-Wacky-O! does not make an exception. Whoever thought adding the opera-esque vocals to the chorus needs to earn an Eurobeat-Nobel for this thought. The song itself is very cute and bubbly unlike some of the more serious Scream Team entries in the past, but I ain't complaining. Excellent chorus, fun verses and insanely fun sounds make this album worth the purchase alone. Pretty much everything about the song is done to perfection and it does feel like a more fitting song under the Kiki & Fancy-catalogue (which might also be why I'm so perfectly at home with it). Pure eurobeat perfection.
11.Rich Hard - Wild Boys (Sunfire Records)
If Sunfire Records need to have a posterboy for their entries, it is Rich without a doubt. The entries he has pushed out have nearly all been either awesome or just plain good, which is more than what can be said for many of the other titles. Wild Boys carries on with the traditional erratic production we've somewhat gotten accustomed to. The distorted vocals and sounds which are all over the place make for a hard song to really get into at first, but the more I listened to the song the more I found myself enjoying it. In essence popular music is about making a song easily accessible and memorable from the get-go, but I feel Sunfire haven't really understood this as their productions time and time again feel unnecessarily complex. Wild Boys' strongest suit is the simple c-melody which sounds really catchy, that and the chorus which just sounds pleasantly flowing.
12.Heather Feat. Dima - Dance Eurobeat (Dima Music)
As expected we hear more titles regarding eurobeat, but we can probably let that slide due to the long break we all had. As opposed to Loving Eurobeat, Dance Eurobeat feels like a song with a fun and exciting production alongside. The song is a really upbeat aproach to eurobeat and this type of Dima material is too rarely heard (as far as I go at least). Dance Eurobeat reminds me warmly of the awesome 1 Week, not only due to the Dima vs. female vocalist approach to it. There's nothing very spectacular or different about the song itself, but the upbeat attitude and great melody are enough to make the song as sunny as the summer days. Can already imagine myself looping this while working out in the sunlight.
13.Daniel - Super Driver (Delta)
When the initial SEB221 tracklisting was leaked out, it seemed like Delta was out of the picture entirely, but fortunately they managed to get a spot in the end. Super Driver is a slightly older entry, which was already heard in the past when Delta releases were offered online. A macho-flavored production with car-themed lyrics, can you ask for a more fitting Initial D entry? The song is all around typical Delta, in both good and bad. While the structure is fun and catchy, the song could've used some more extra stylistic changes to make it stand out from the other similar entries within the past few years. Still, nothing very particularly wrong about it either, just not a perfect 10.
14.Fastway - Hyper Super Powers (SCP)
Another entry we had the pleasure of hearing sneak peaks for through the SCP youtube channel. Hyper Super Power could not be more fitting for Ennio. The song oozes of testosterone from every single pore. The lyrics, the vocals, the sounds and melody have all definitely been given some doping for sure. Structurewise the song feels like a very thoroughly thoughout metamorphosis of a modern style and some classic elements. The song has a funny way of alluring you with a classic kind of approach just to kick you in the shin with more modern elements the next moment, but I kinda enjoy it for doing that. A great song on all fronts and shows the variety SCP can push out.
15.Dejo - Boys Gone Wild (SinclaireStyle)
I hate to be that guy, but... can Bratt at some point ask some lyric writing help from somebody else. While this 'classic' eurobeat vocabulary usage is fun in small doses, it feels like he has been doing the same thing for years now and I'm a tad tired with everything being in fire. Okay rant over. Boys Gone Wild is fortunately a completely different end of the spectrum vs. the previous Sinclaire entry. The track does sound generic, but the melody is much stronger and more present this time around. What does earn the sound a lot of extra credit is how it includes a ton of extra elements in the sounds that make it feel much more lively and memorable. A good chorus, great sounds and manly vocals are what you get treated with this album closener.
Final Words :
Super Eurobeat 221 had a very hard role to fullfill. Over a year without any new Super Eurobeats set huge expectations for the fans and I'm certain most people weren't even close to being satisfied. What has happened in the recent years is that there seems to have been a decline in the interest for eurobeat, but the labels still have been producing great music. Yet the public still feels fairly discontent, but for what reason? 221 is by far the best SEB in the recent years (but not by a big margin), it isn't an all around perfect album by no means, but it delivers a high amount of very memorable songs and doesn't stray far from the classic eurobeat country. What stood out for me on this very album is the fact that SCP pushed out all of the biggest hits for me, yet the all-labels-collaboration was the weakest entry out of them all. And isn't it ironic, don't you think? But the other labels also managed to produce quite a few great songs, so I would definitely lose hope for the genre. From a fans perspective getting new albums every 2 months feels like a decent schedule, let's all just cross fingers that Avex keep up this in the future as well. In short though, SEB221 is a solid album with great hits. Don't miss it!
Final Score : 9-
The Best 3 songs
- Scream Team - Wacky-Wacky-O!
- Bamboo Bimbo - Kiss
- An-G - Different Girl
The Worst 3 Songs
- Cy-Ro - Born To Be Wild In My Car
- Powerful T. - Kelly
- Stephy Martin - Power & Love
- Fastway - Hyper Super Powers
Labels present on the album:
A-Beat C: 1
Dima Music: 2
Go Go's Music: 0
HI-NRG Attack: 1
Sinclaire Style: 2
Sunfire Records: 2
Reviewed by Bore