Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Young Divas - The Gayest Album EVER!
I have already discussed Young Divas at length in my Paulini post but after listening to their debut album for the past week, I thought they deserved their own. Young Divas have done the impossible and put together an album that "out gays" Marcia's "Discotheque"! In fact, both albums share pretty much the same concept. Marcia's album is comprised of covers of disco classics from the 1970s, while Young Divas stick to 1980s pop music. And not just any old 80s material. This album is basically a collection of gay anthems and trash classics! The tracklist itself was enough to get my juices flowing and after listening to the album several times over the past week, I can say that I'm not disappointed!
There are a couple of tracks that have been done to death and really should have been left in peace - but who cares? Paulini and her backing singers breathe life into these classics and will hopefully bring a whole new audience to the likes of Donna Summer and Laura Brannigan. A couple of interpretations are unneccessary and fall flat but, on the whole, this album is gay pop heaven and about as much fun as you can have without being on drugs! I'm obviously not the only one who thinks so because the album beat out some serious competition to debut at #4 on the Australian Album Chart, while the second single from the album, "Happenin' All Over Again", climbs into the top 10.
Here is my track by track review:
What A Feeling: Irene Cara's classic gets yet another workout. I was expecting to be annoyed by this given my affection for all things Giorgio Moroder and Irene Cara. However, the layered vocals work a treat and this anthem can't help but make you dig out some leg warmers and dance around like a poofter. I love it - but it loses a point for the cheap keyboards. 9/10
This Time I Know It's For Real: Young Divas launched their career with this SAW cover and it manages to more than hold its own with Donna Summer's original and Kelly Llorenna's fabulous high energy re-make. The song hit number #2 and is still in the top 50. "This Time" is heavenly. Kudos to the producers for being smart enough to let Paulini do most of the singing. 10/10
Right About Now: Now this is the odd one out! A cover of a Mousse T dance hit from a few years ago. The Divas have turned this into an En Vogue inspired urban groove anthem. The song doesn't really fit that well with the others but it does come as a relief amongst all the cheese. I have a feeling this could be the next single as the girls sang it on the final of Australian Idol last Sunday night. It could be a grower but it's not my favourite. 7/10
Gloria: This is one of those songs that should never be messed with. Laura Brannigan's original would definitely make a list of my 20 favourite songs of all time. So, I was a more than a bit reluctant to listen to this. It is a butchery, but such a big, bright, gay hatchet job that I'm ashamed to say I LOVE it. I just hope Laura isn't spinning in her grave. 9/10
Happenin' All Over Again: The second single from the album takes on Lonnie Gordon's big hit. It's fun but hasn't grabbed me like their cover of "This Time I Know It's For Real". I would take Lonnie's version over this any day. That said, "Happenin' All Over Again" is still top shelf pop. 8/10
Searchin': This song has always amused me - pop music's most infamous lesbian singing about hunting down a man. Hazell Dean's original is a high camp classic and this version stays pretty true to the original but injects some much needed attitude. Such insipid trash - I ache for it! 8.5/10
Woman In Love: By far the strangest interpretation. While most of the cover versions "gay up" the originals to an even greater extent, Young Divas turn Barbra Streisand's classic into a slow groove R'n'B number. I'm not sure it works. In fact, it doesn't. Barbra's version shits all over this. 6/10
It's Raining Men: How many people have covered this song? It would have to make the list of the most covered songs of the past 20 years. I was dreading another version after that filthy Halliwell bitch (Geri - not Deirdre!) destroyed it for the Bridget Jones' Diary soundtrack. This version is much better than fat Geri's. In fact, it almost matches the heights of Deirdre Halliwell's "It's Raining Jizz"! The Weather Girls still take the crown but this is surprisingly excellent. 8/10
Let's Hear It For The Boy: I adore Deniece Williams and was fearing what the Divas would do with her 80s classic. I was relieved and delighted when I discovered that they had given the song a bubble gum pop makeover! This would make my shortlist for the next single. Deniece fans will probably pull their hair out in disgust but admit it - this is insanely fun! 9.5/10
She Works Hard For The Money: Another Donna Summer classic gets a Young Divas makeover and just like their cover of "This Time I Know It's For Real", this is an absolute winner. Another possible single, this is just about irresistable. 9.5/10
Say I'm Your No. 1: Yet another Stock Aitken Waterman cover, this time it's Princess's turn. "Say I'm Your Number One" is one of the classiest songs ever to come out of the hit factory and Young Divas do it proud. The slower pace comes as a bit of a relief after the onslaught of gay disco that comes before it. Paulini's lead vocals are sublime. 8.5/10
You'll Never Stop Me From Loving You: Yes, that ugly, red troll -Sonia- gets a Young Divas overhaul. The Divas shit all over that hideous beast. They seem to save their best for SAW covers and this is another superb track. A great way to end the album. 8/10
Overall Verdict: This is fuckin' gay and essential for all homosexualists. Order your copy at Chaos or Sanity.