Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Similarly Requested CDs
M. Hornberger | Trace | 11/18/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Great! Contains all original tracks, not the US remixes. Except for Cecilia, which is remixed on newer UK versions.
1. Life Is a Flower - 3:47
2. Always Have, Always Will (Original Version) - 3:46
3. Cruel Summer - 3:35
4. Travel to Romantis (Original Version) - 4:10
5. Adventures In Paradise - 3:32
6. Dr. Sun - 3:35
7. Cecilia (Ole Evanrude Remix on newer UK versions) - 3:55
8. He Decides (Original Version) - 3:09
9. I Pray - 3:18
10. Tokyo Girl - 3:36
11. Don't Go Away - 3:41
12. Captain Nemo - 4:02
13. Donnie (Original Version) - 4:39
14. Cruel Summer (Big Bonus Mix) (Replaced with Everytime it rains on newer UK versions) - 4:07
Clive Davis is Satan
Prog Nerd | Southern California | 11/29/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Everytime I hear Clive Davis' name, I shudder. The man is either responsible for producing and promoting amazing successes (at the sacrifice of artistic credibility -- see Whitney Houston, Carlos Santana), or achieves the complete opposite when his musical McDonaldsization approach backfires on him (see Ace of Base.) Obviously, as seen by his results, the man doesn't care about music. Only profits, and exploitation. Kelly Clarkson did the right thing by avoiding his influence for her My December album. Although it sold less than her previous discs, she maintained her credibility, which matters far more than units sold.
Ace of Base, unfortunately, was maimed by his presence. Due to his meddling on their US version of the album (titled Cruel Summer here, Flowers evrywhere else), tracks were dropped, and songs and lyrics were changed. All for the worse, in my opinion.
Bear in mind, not all of the failure of Cruel Summer is his fault. Ace of Base themselves are at a bit of a low point here. Their unique spiritual reggae-techno is pretty much completely gone here, along with most of their "real" and organic instrumentation, which is what made The Bridge their most well-realized album. Apparently, the lack of its success (compared to The Sign/Happy Nation) must've been weighing on them, because Cruel Summer/Flowers feels like a sell-out. This is mostly just generic late 90's pop music, hardly any different from the sort've crap Britney was putting out shortly after. To add to matters, vocalist Linn Bergrin started to sing less, letting her sister Jenny handle most of the lead vocals. This trend would continue even more onto the next album, with Linn eventually leaving the group altogether in the mid-2000's.
Admittedly, the group does try some experimenting on Cruel Summer. They try their hand at a sort've 70-90's disco pastiche with "Cecelia". "Donnie" has the piano and strings of an ABBA song (I guess they decided to go ahead and relent to those ABBA rip-off accusations), and "Always Have, Always Will" is in a 60's Motown style, complete with tambourine, drums, strings and ooh-ahh backup singers. Sadly, most of these experiments fail.
It's not all clouds, however. "Travel To Romantis" and "Tokyo Girl" are fun dance-pop tunes. "Life Is A Flower/Whenever You're Near Me" is a great song with "classic" status, on par with their early material. "Cruel Summer" itself is okay, but cover songs by 80's one-hit wonders is usually a one-way ticket to Forgetsville.
Sorry if I seem a bit critical here, but the group's first two albums were among my absolute favorites from the mid-90's, and this one just isn't up to their standards. Thankfully their next album, Da Capo (2002), was a return to form, despite its status as import-only.
2 stars for Cruel Summer/US version
3 stars for Flowers/European version"