Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Not bad mix of Swing Out Sister jazz & Pet Shop Boys pop
Daniel J. Hamlow | Narita, Japan | 03/16/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Yet another in the artist/bands forgotten in the 90's category. The group here is the British duo Tag, consisting of keyboard programmer Gareth Young and vocalist Treana Morris, whose shy and soft jazz vocals sing ably on emotional confusion as well as getting down. Call them Swing Out Sister meets the Pet Shop Boys type, danceable jazz meets airy synths, techno dance drum programming, and special vocal effects and sounds akin to Deee-Lite.The string synths and sax solo in the mid-paced "Don't Play Around With My Heart" give it a Swing Out Sister sound, whereas "Love And Money" sports a more funky uptempo sound with some piano keyboard and horns, with a cynical observation on love and money being partners: "Pennies don't win a broken heart/to get to his wallet, tear him apart.""Hang On (Til Tomorrow)" sports a leisure SOS-type sound with some bass and drum programming, featuring a horns loop, and trumpet solo, and "Round And Round" has a reggae beat punctuated by a piano.The airy synths on the emotional confusion of "Never Gonna Push You" veer towards Pet Shop Boys territory, with another sax solo accompanying the ballad. The danceable instrumental "Yo" is a favourite here, as it mixes the usual keyboard and drum programming exercises, a trumpet solo, with some samples from British TV, including a BBC announcement. Whoever does the trumpet here does a creditable job.The danceable style of the party jam "Don't Stop The Beat" predates a similar sound Saint Etienne would do on their debut Foxbase Alpha. "The Way I Feel" is another song on emotional indecision, with the man wavering in his decision on whether he loves the woman, and each decision tears her apart."Keep On Movin'" is another party jam that includes a rap at the end that Mel B wouldn't mind incorporating. With a title like "Lonely Without Your Love," one'd expect a ballad, right? Well, that's shattered with the initial bursts of guitar and keyboards and the 80's soul-pop sounds in the catchy chorus, down to the guitar solo and Journey-like synths. One of the best tracks.The album ends with the slow-dance, smooth Narada-like keyboards and sax-solo of "11:15" of an anxiety-inducing phone call: "it's the tone of your voice that hurts/long silences and shorter words." The bridge highlights that hurt: "How can you say we're not in love/I'm living with you" to the point that the girl'd rather be free.A combination of Swing Out Sister and Pet Shop Boys sounds like it can't miss, and it doesn't, but I wonder if a lack of marketing and finding them a niche in America caused them to be non-contagious to the mainstream. Pity, because this isn't that bad."