Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Dare to Love
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Pop
Dare to Love is a remarkably consistent and entertaining collection of finely honed dance/pop, a sub-genre that doesn't generally place a premium on personality. Somerville, however, has never been one to sacrifice his con... more »
Dare to Love is a remarkably consistent and entertaining collection of finely honed dance/pop, a sub-genre that doesn't generally place a premium on personality. Somerville, however, has never been one to sacrifice his convictions to the beat. By the same token, his gay repartee here is carried along by wide-ranging rhythms (a dub intro here, a disco break there) and imaginative instrumental adornments (here a Spanish guitar solo, there a violin interlude). Lyrically, Somerville celebrates the gay lifestyle of the '90s, which, in his own words, encompasses "life, love, sex, and death." Indeed, the romanticism of much of the material is colored by the AIDS epidemic so that even the most jubilant outpourings are weighted down by a hint of grief. --Steven Stolder
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A Gay Dance Album for the 90's
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Jimmy Somerville, former lead vocal for Bronski Beat and The Communards, shines on this, his second solo project. His lilting falsetto, prominent throughout this album, floats effortlessly on such original tracks as "Cry" and "Because of Him," as well as on the fabulous remake of "Someday We'll Be Together." In the same way, his lower range on the title track "Dare To Love" is almost haunting. Lyric-wise, this album is also very powerful. Jimmy Somerville delivers an album that truly explores all aspects of the gay experience, both the light and dark sides. "Always By Your Side" proclaims never-ending love with a realism that few straight love songs can equal, without the stomach-churning sappiness that is so common today. "Alright," on the other hand, examines the perils (or pleasures) of one-night stands. This album is very dancable, as well. "Love Thing" and "Too Much" have ! a beat that is simply impossible to ignore. All in all, I think that this is an album that belongs in every gay man's album collection."
Excellent dance-pop collection
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There are a number of lovely tracks here, even haunting ones. The opening song, "Heartbeat," for instance, just plays over and over in my head with its swirling, compulsive beat. There's the tough title track, with Sommerville abandoning his usual falsetto for a grittier delivery. Best of all is "By Your Side," sweet, sad, ethereal. I listened to this one all weekend am looking forward to the next play!"
Dare To Listen
Daryl in Oshkosh | Oshkosh, WI USA | 06/09/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This spring I bought a used version of Somerville's "The Singles Collection 1984-1990" with limited expectations. I was only familiar with a couple songs I remembered hearing and liking in Rod's Bar in the early 80s in Madison Wisconsin. I knew he was one of the few gay and out internationally famous singers at the time but that was about it.
I only paid a few dollars for it, so I figured if I only liked a few of the songs that would be okay, so I was very happy that I ended up liking almost all of the songs on it
A couple months later I ordered Dare To Love with higher but guarded expectations. I must say I was not disappointed at all. His voice had matured and not lost any of it's range or expressiveness; if anything it had grown and improved.
The first song, Heartbeat, really kicks it off on a high note - it's driving, and contemporary sounding (even today) with a great vocal delivery. It is my favorite song on the disc by far. Unfortunately, the next one, Hurts So Good, stops the momentum dead in its tracks. It is a generic reggae song, that would probably go over well in the U.K., but America never really embraced reggae and this song won't convert anyone. Not that it is bad, but coming on the heels of such a great song, it pales in comparison.
Cry is smooth, but slightly boring with rather generic lyrics.
The beginning of Love Thing features a jazzy trumpet, but has a generic club beat and lyrics, though is still fairly enjoyable.
By Your Side slows things down and has a slightly ethereal quality. All in all, nice and more interesting than the previous two songs.
Dare to Love, a song about the tragic consequences of an older gay man and his young lover may at first seem quaint in the 21st century, but is still probably happening on a daily basis somewhere in the world. It is a forceful and heartfelt telling done in more of a stark musical landscape than the rest of the songs, and very successful in conveying the mood and theme of the lyrics.
Next is a remake of the old Diana Ross & the Supreme's gem Someday We'll Be Together. That was always a favorite of mine and Somerville doesn't need to do much more than sing it straight (so to speak). There is a sentimental flavor to it, but that may just be the feelings it creates in me every time I hear it. I like this one a great deal.
Alright brings us back to a more contemporary sound, though it does have a break in the middle that has an "I Feel Love" feel to it. It is nice to hear an upbeat and passionate telling of a gay encounter, although the lyrics "the blood had dried by the morning" are a bit disturbing, the song still makes me feel "alright".
Too Much of a Good Thing continues to move us up in time with a driving baseline and features a brief interesting break that slows the song down briefly before returning to the insistent pulsating beat.
A Dream Gone Wrong features a smooth grove with a nice Spanish guitar break.
Come Lately goes back to a retro disco upbeat feel.
Safe in These Arms is lovely, calm and soothing, but not boring.
Because of Him is distinguished from the rest of the songs by it's rolling, Irish sea-chantey type feel created by drums and violins.
Though it does take a while to get rolling (aside from the first song) this ends up being a very satisfying listening experience.
Over all the songs range from good to excellent, the overall production is wonderful and as mentioned before, vocals are excellent and in themselves add a star to my rating. It did take me a little longer to appreciate some of the songs, but its my experience that it usually does take time to appreciate the best records, and this has become a current favorite of mine. Compared to his earlier work, I would say these songs are more resonant and will not seem as dated as some of his earlier work has come to be, not that they can't be enjoyed in their context.