Thursday, 8 November 2007

The Unleashed Scandal & Album Review!

Someone call the police! Dannii's amazing breasts have been vandalised and I demand the culprit be brought to justice! I was absolutely ecstatic when my package of Dannii goodies arrived from the UK this afternoon but my joy quickly turned into outrage and disgust when I noticed the cover of "Unleashed". Dannii's heavenly jugs have been covered up! Compare the picture above to the actual cover (below). Who would be stupid enough to hide Dannii's two most famous assets? Warner Music could have at least had the decency to fix up the picture properly. This looks like it was done by a drunk 12 year old with a black crayon!

Now that I've got that off my chest, I can focus on the music. The cover of "Unleashed" might be hideously disfigured but the music is fabulous. Dannii's unreleased rubbish continues to astound me. The new songs on "Unleashed" are shiny, pop gems of the highest quality. I've only had the chance to listen to "Unleashed" a couple of times but my first impression is that I prefer the unreleased material from "Club Disco", which is a surprise because I generally prefer Dannii's output with Warner Music to her AATW material. The new tracks on "Club Disco" are all vintage Dannii, while "Unleashed" finds Dannii in a more experimental mood. The music is less polished and Dannii dabbles in several different genres including R'n'B! "Unleashed" isn't as perfect as "Club Disco" but it's an intriguing glimpse into one of the most weird and wonderful periods of Dannii's illustrious career. Here's my track by track review:

1. All I Wanna Do (Innocent Girl Mix) - 8/10

A great remix of a classic single. I still have visions of Dannii rolling around in bed with that pink phone. Brilliance!

2. Blame It On The Music - 8.5/10

A very early collaboration with Roger Sanchez and Terry "Tezza" Ronald from 2002 that holds up amazingly well. Roger's "Do You Believe Me Now?" was one of the highlights of "Club Disco" and "Blame It On The Music" is another gem. Dannii needs to hire this man to produce her next album instead of fucking around with the usual losers!

3. Spend Your Love On Me - 7.5/10

The first of several Random Music productions on the album. Random Music have produced tracks for poptastic acts like No Angels and Amy Diamond but, disturbingly, they also boast about writing tracks for Shannon Noll and Dulta on their website. "Spend Your Love On Me" is a strange track that combines urban and dance elements with a certain degree of success. I love Dannii's R'n'B adventures ("Work", "Don't Wanna Take This Pain" and "Get Into You") but this is missing a certain something. Like a chorus. It strikes me as a grower.

4. Don't Wanna Lose This Feeling (Jewels & Stone 7" Mix) - 8/10

Jewels & Stone have a Minogue connection that spans 14 years when Barry Stone remixed Kylie's "Celebration". They specialise in bright, shiny remixes and this is no exception. Great fun.

5. Going Going Gone - 6.5/10

Another Random Music production that sounds like something the Backstreet Boys rejected in 1998. This is my least favourite song on the album. It's not awful by any means but "Going Going Gone" has no hook to speak of and I'm not particularly taken with the robotic vocals. An interesting experiment.

6. Everything I Wanted (Metro 7 Inch Mix) - 7.5/10

The best version of my least favourite Dannii single. It's a good song but "Everything I Wanted" (and "All I Wanna Do" for that matter) don't sit well with the other tracks. Fun but unnecessary.

7. Undeniable - 9/10

"Undeniable" is the album's biggest surprise. Only included when "Karma Is A Bitch" and "Fear Of Flying" were cut at the last minute, I expected "Undeniable" to be the bottom of the barrel. Instead, the song is a gorgeously produced slow jam that wouldn't sound out of place on a Beyonce album. This is by far the most successful R'n'B attempt on "Unleashed" and one of Dannii's most unusual offerings. A future fan favourite.

8. No Romeo - 9/10

Written by Hannah Robinson and Pascal Gabriel, this was one of the most anticipated tracks on "Unleashed" for me. This doesn't quite match the brilliant tracks Pascal has written for Kylie ("Tightrope", "Your Love" and "No Better Love") but "No Romeo" is a cute little R'n'B influenced pop gem. This is the kind of fun track that Janet Jackson used to make until she started exclusively singing about her cunt. "No Romeo" would have made a fine single.

9. Hide And Seek (Thriller Jill Original Radio Mix) - 9.5/10

Apparently, "Hide & Seek" was once considered as the lead single for "Neon Nights" before eventually appearing as one of Dannii's most unusual B-sides. I love this version of "Hide & Seek", it's trance-tastic! After a string of bizarre R'n'B/pop hybrids, it's something of a relief to hear a club stormer. I love the crazy horns and vocoder effects. Exceptional!

10. Hurt In Love - 8/10

One of the most recent tracks to be included on "Unleashed", "Hurt In Love" is fucking strange. It starts out as a stomping dance anthem before slowing right down to become a trippy electro ballad - and then speeds right back up for the final 30 seconds. I'm not sure what to make of this - it's kind of weird and wonderful but listening to "Hurt In Love" too often might bring on some kind of seizure. It's different and I think I like it.

11. Who Do You Love Now? (Riva's Bora Bora Edit) - 9/10

One of my all time favourite Dannii anthems, "Who Do You Love Now?" is about as close as you can get to pop/dance perfection. This remix isn't as good as the original edit but it's still pretty amazing.

12. Put The Needle On It (Cicada Vocal Edit) - 10/10

A dark and dirty re-working of "Put The Needle On It" can only be a good thing as this amazing remix proves. Cicada breathe new life into this classic song, giving it an unexpected edge. I can't get enough of this, it's just fantastic! Check out some of Cicada's own brilliant music on their myspace.

13. Come & Get It (Alternative Radio Cut) - 9/10

The original "Come & Get It" is a pop masterpiece and surely one of Dannii's finest moments. This remix isn't nearly as good as the original but it's always a pleasure to hear this song in any form.

14. Begin To Spin Me Round (Dannii Vs Dead Or Alive)(Radio Edit) - 10/10

The perfect mash-up! This sounds as good today as the day it was released. I still remember Dannii's excitement when this reached #2 on the UK charts. I think she would have died from shock if it actually made #1! Blissful.

15. Love Me Like This - 7/10

This is one of the better Random Music produced tracks on the album. "Love Me Like This" is a cute little pop song, which is only marred by a grating sample. Not Dannii's finest moment but fun nonetheless.

16. Bad Weather - 7/10

Produced by Thriller Jill, "Bad Weather" is a kooky pop tune bursting with dodgy metaphors. The song begins promisingly but goes nowhere. The chorus is non-existent and the verses are somewhat clumsy. Nevertheless, this is still a fun listen.

17. Invitation - 9.5/10

The team of Gareth Young, Sarah Eker, Cheryl Parker and Dannii need to work together more often. They have already written one of the best tracks on "Unleashed" in the form of "Undeniable" and "Invitation" is another stunning mid-tempo ballad. The production is detailed, Dannii's voice sounds absolutely amazing and the lyrics are lovely. Excellent.

18. It Won't Work Out (Ross Cullum Single Mix) - 10/10

Ever since the phenomenal dance version of "It Won't Work Out" leaked last year, I've had little time for the original ballad version. However, this slightly tweaked version is just brilliant. It begins like a ballad before kicking into a crazy mix of guitars and heavy beats. A truly stunning vocal performance from Holidannii!

Bonus Track: Viva L'Amour - 9/10

"Viva L'Amour" is the bonus track from iTunes. A stomping electro anthem, "Viva L'Amour" stands out as one of the album's best tracks. Which is fucking annoying. How did "Going Going Gone", "Bad Weather" or "Love Me Like This" make the final cut ahead of this gem? I love the throbbing production and the lyrics. This is really worth downloading separately from iTunes.

"Unleashed" is wildly uneven but it belongs in every Dannii fan's collection. The highs are fabulous and the lows are amusing. "Unleashed" was released in the UK on Monday and will be released in Australia on the 19th of November. Pre-order your copy from iTunes or Chaos.


Peibols said...

Totally agree with you.
Club Disco it's much better than Unleashed (eventhough my friend Parker says the opposite).

I think Club Disco follows a straight line. First all dance like you are drunk sings, and the last ones are like I have the worst hangover, let lay on the beach really-slow-tempo.

But Unleashed is like a few song I didn't know which order to put them all together.
Some songs are great, but all mixed up doesn't sound good.

About the cover... No words.
Why the hide Dannii's jewels?
They costed much money! She paid for them, let her show them!!

I've bought this one in Amazon (I don't think they'll release it in Spain).

Mike said...

I'm so upset with the cover. Dannii's crown jewels would have increased sales 250%! The problem with "Unleashed" is that it spans so many different eras. There are songs from the late 90s (like "All I Wanna Do"), rejected stuff from Warners (2002-2004), which obviously was supposed to be some kind of urban Dannii revival - LOL!, and then recently recorded material that obviously wasn't licensed to AATW. There are plenty of good songs but the album doesn't really sit well together. "Club Disco" is more coherent and consistent and I really prefer dance diva Dannii to bad R'n'B Dannii!

tommie said...

I agree with your review mostly - how Viva L'Amour (or Undeniable left off) was made a bonus iTunes track over Spend Your Love On Me is just shocking - I can't help but think that the album would've been better with the Korpi tracks though.

HOWEVER, I'll have to disagree with you about Going Going Gone - it's one of my favourites! I love the lazy songwriting ("when you sat / on my bed / going bla bla bla") - it's like Dannii got tired after a long day in the studio and just wanted to take off - genius!

Overall I think the Unleashed is more of a grower than Club Disco though.

Miss Heidi Von Binterschlappen said...

I'm not impressed by anything on Unleashed apart from the remixes of AIWD, DWLTF & IBTW - though stand out track is the fabulous single version of IWWO. A missed opportunity if ever their was one! Dannii should have stomped her stillettos until it was released as the final single for NN complete with a stunningly moody B&W video shot at Sunset in Ibiza!

And the idiot who vandalised Dannii's Magnificent Mammaries is a disgrace!

Ro Ro said...

I was disapointed with that cover. The font was even hateful. Dannii must not have been consulted on it's release. But the music gets a 10. Dannii herself gets a 20. Now onto this clip i come it hasn't made it's way on here yet? I love how Dannii beats kylies ass then sips her booze.

Mike said...

Tommie - Going Going Gone is the laziest thing I've ever heard. I'd find it amusing if Dannii wrote it on her own but Warner obviously spent a bit of money hiring Random Music to produce the track and they came up with lyrics about sitting on your bed and sampled some kind of factory noise. I think it's called taking the piss. I agree with you about the Korpi tracks. The fact that they were considered for a single release at one stage or another indicates that they might be of better quality. I think Dannii has to unveil "Unleashed 2"! I also agree with you that the album is a grower - I'm starting to appreciate the craziness of "Hurt In Love"!

Jay - How can you not love the lovely electro mix of PTNOI or Dannii's urban dance sensation, "No Romeo"? I particularly like the mid-tempo urban numbers like "Undeniable". I love your idea for the IWWO film clip! That would have been amazing. I see Dannii sipping cocktails on the beach to calm her nerves before confronting her (semi-naked) boyfriend about the end of their relationship. It would have been so classy! Such a missed opportunity.

Hey Ro Ro, nice to see you! I think Dannii's involvement in these recent compilations has been minimal to say the least. She's probably too drunk to even notice that they covered her tits. It's such a scandal! I love that clip but I've already posted it. Scroll down the page! I hope you're feeling better.

Ro Ro said...

Blames my medication! i totally spaced it off. Sorri "turns red"

tommie said...

I think the Korpi tracks would've added that 'everyone to the dancefloor and get dirty' Dannii that Unleashed is missing - overall, the tracks on Unleashed are far less polished than on Club Disco; it's quite obvious that the tracks on Unleashed were left unfinished from the scrapped London album, while AATW had almost an entire album finished before they chickened out and released THAB.

mordi said...

both albums are fucking brilliant!

all we need now are the 'karma...' and 'fear of flying' (plus any other last minute changes) to be made available.

long live DM!

James said...

Like tommie, I have to disagree with you as well about Going Going Gone. It's one of my faves too, and the one that stood out to me at first. I LOVE the "bla bla bla"s- so funny and, to me, it makes complete sense as to how it fits into the overall concept/story of the song.

As for no hook, how can you miss it? It's all throughout the song; listening to this song just makes me want to get up and dance, and it's just so catchy. I've had it in my head like all day, and it's one of the first tracks I learned the lyrics to from this album.

Also, I just looked, and I am way late on this comment, but I was trying to find GGG lyrics online (too lazy to get up and get the booklet, but I think I may have to anyway, lol), and stumbled across this. I was quite taken aback by the "no hook to speak of".

I also like the way "Hurt in Love" is handled. I listened to this song and it's actually the sort of music I'd like to make. It's just so experimental and cool. I don't know how to describe it, lol. Actually, both of those tracks are similar to what I'd love to make.

My only problem with GGG is the way the chorus ends "I can't take it back/Where has the love gone?"- it just loses the whole momentum of the song. If I were making the track, it'd be much more consistent.

Anyway, I'll stop rambling now, lol.