Monday, April 02, 2007

Requiem For An Orange Goddess

Kelly Llorenna cuts a striking figure on the stage. Her lean, orange body glows like a Renaissance sculpture dipped in a barrel of fake tan, her ever-present sunglasses create an air of alluring mystery and her measured strut announces the presence of a true diva. The mere sight of Kelly is enough to throw her core audience of unwed teenage mothers and derelict homosexuals into an uncontrollable frenzy, which only abates when Ms Llorenna deigns to open her gorgeous trout pout and unleash those golden pipes. Make no mistake. Kelly Llorenna, or K. Lo to her army of devoted fans, is pop trash royalty and this tribute has been long overdue. As Kelly's star plummets faster than Halley's comet in the wake of her recent chart disaster, take a moment to reflect on the musical gifts that Kelly Llorenna has enriched our lives with over the past 15 years.

In 1992 a tremor of genius shook the pop world when Kelly provided vocals for the N-Trance anthem, "Set You Free". The song flopped twice before finally becoming a massive hit in 1995. The success of the song resulted in Kelly signing a solo deal. Her first single, the divine "Brighter Day" made the top 40 but AATW Records quickly decided that Kelly would be more suited to collaborating with N-Trance. However, before returning to the band, Kelly recorded two of the most fabulous unreleased singles of the 1990s. Kelly's cover of the classic "One Day I'll Fly Away" represented a huge change of pace. The choice of song was a stroke of genius and the remixes were excellent. Strangely, the song was scrapped just after promos were released. Unfortunately, Kelly's equally fabulous "All I Wanna Do" (not a Dannii cover!) suffered a similar fate. I first heard the song on Deirdre Halliwell's criminally under-appreciated music blog, Cheesy Pop Music. "All I Wanna Do" really is something of a lost dance classic. This stunning anthem was another hit in waiting but sadly, was also scrapped.

Given Kelly's seeming inability to actually get a solo single released, she returned to the N-Trance fold and scored a multitude of hits over the next 5 years. However, Kelly was still desperate to establish her solo career. So, she released a cover of Taylor Dayne's "Tell It To My Heart" in order to re-launch herself as solo star and scored a deserved #9 hit on the UK charts in 2002. The follow up, a re-worked version of her earlier flop, "Heart Of Gold", made the top 20 and remains one of my all time favourite K. Lo anthems. In true diva style, Kelly's debut album was also a greatest hits compilation. "All Clubbed Up" rocketed to #62, announcing Kelly as a pop princess to be reckoned with!

Kelly returned to charts in a blaze of glory with the release of her craptastic cover of Donna Summer's "This Time I Know It's For Real" in 2004. While not in the same league of pop fabulousness as the Young Divas' recent version, Kelly's cover is a true guilty pleasure and the staple of many an aerobics class. The tragic video is a trash classic, with Kelly camping it up with some of the worst dancers Great Britain has to offer. "This Time I Know It's For Real" was intended to be followed by the release of "Nobody Like You" last year. I personally think "Nobody Like You" is one of the most poptastic dance singles of recent years. It's instantly catchy and more importantly, is slightly more pop orientated than Kelly's usual club sound. The song spent over a year in limbo before being scrapped. If it had been released, I can't help but think Kelly's career would not be in its current shambles.

Instead of twiddling her thumbs while AATW debated whether to release "Nobody Like You" or not, Kelly re-applied her fake tan and recorded a couple of tragic songs for Klone Records, including a fabulously awful cover of Rita Coolidge's Bond anthem "All Time High". Early this year, AATW decided to proceed with a new Kelly Llorenna single and they settled on a dance version of Lara Fabian's hit ballad "I Will Love Again". The song is far from terrible. In fact, I love the chilled Twilight Mix. The problem lies with the fact that the song plays right into all the negative stereotypes surrounding K. Lo - that she specialises in cheap dance covers and never releases anything original. Given the limited promotion and difficulty fans experienced finding a copy of the single in stores, it came as little surprise when "I Will Love Again" stalled at #105. Hopefully, this is not the last we hear of K. Lo. She may be slightly tragic bitch and have the fashion sense of a blind prostitute but Kelly is one of the few interesting personalities to emerge from the English pop scene over the past decade or so. If this is the end, let us remember Kelly in all her orange glory.

You can buy "All Clubbed Up" and "I Will Love Again" from Amazon and HMV. Purchase a copy today and help keep K. Lo in fake tan. A big thank you to Jamie for helping me out with the sexy Kelly pictures and mixes.

14 comments:

Jamie_movietrip said...

A classic post! Kelly's latest distribution problems are the only reason I Will Flop Again sunk lower than all expectations had predicted. It's such a shame. I also love the Twilight Mix.

You know, whenever I'm ooop North I pray thay I'll bump into Kelly and offer some suggestions for her next craptastic cover version. One day I just know it'll happen. She's amazing.

RV said...

thanx for the infos
I own the N-Trance CDs and Kelly wonderful solo Hits CD but didn't know "I will love again" had been released :(
I agree she is so underused and underpromoted by AATW it is a shame!

Trash Addict said...

I'm sure this wont be the last we hear from the great orange one! You can't hold Kelly's stunning talent down!

Ro Ro said...

I did love this post. I had seen her orangeness but never heard anything until now. I love dance diva's who cover every song under the sun! thanks for sharing her with me. She's even more orange than Paris.

Miss Halliwell said...

'The Orange Goddess!' LOL that's her new album title...

I love All I Wanna Do and i have the promo for 'I Will Love Again' but didn't know it was released!

Kelly's Biff & Memphis (sounds painful) remix of 'One Day I'll Fly Away' is the classiest cheesy pop i have ever heard.

Kelly is to England what Mary Kiani is to Scotland. IE no one buys their records in their own country even though they are legendary divas with vocal cords of steel!

Well done on a fabulous post Mike, you really do push the envelope when it comes to promoting trashy diva's!

Trash Addict said...

Thanks Deirdre! I do love my trashy divas, as you well know. Did anyone know that "I Will Love Again" was actually released? It has to be the most poorly promoted single in history!

I would brush out all your wigs for a year to hear the Biff & Memphis mix of "One Day". Hint!

Jamie_movietrip said...

Quite intersting you should mention Scotland, Miss Halliwell! I Will Love Again made it to #40 on the Scottish singles chart according to AATW Records! Being half Scottish myself I simply couldn't be prouder!!

Miss Heide Von Binterschlappen said...

I think I am one of three people who bought the I Will Love Again single! Though it took me ages to find an HMV that stocked it over here...

Anonymous said...

Does NOBODY LIKE YOU contain a sample of Kylie's LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT? There's this uncanny similarity. Guys, listen to it again and again and you will notice what i mean!

Miss Halliwell said...

Been trying to mail u a certain song...ure mail box is not found! Sort it out bitch! LOL

Trash Addict said...

Oh I have a new e-mail address! Everyone can e-mail me at trash_lurver@yahoo.com.au but I'll send you my other address.

BruDé said...

You're god of the writers !!!!!! I tried to copy you, but in French... i'll see what happen... Sad miss Orange is just unknown here, 'cos i would translate your text and publish it on my blog.

Trash Addict said...

Brude - Thanks for the kind words. I would love to be translated into French. Good luck with it! The orange queen should be a superstar in ever country across the globe. Kelly keeps the fake tan industry alive!

Jamie said...

I just love the glamour of northern girls. They know how to combine fake tan with bright colours and have voices like fog horns. Was in Leeds at the weekend and wish I'd got a Dulux colour chart to mark the orangeness of Leeds lasses on.