Thursday, 22 November 2012

SARAH CONNOR - German singer

Sarah Connor born Sarah Marianne Corina Lewe is a German singer-songwriter.  Her debut into music came in 2001 and she became the first solo act ever to have 4 consecutive number ones in the national Singles Chart.  Sarah had success in Europe mostly with her single "From Sarah With Love" and her R&B debut album "Green Eyed Soul".  She has since received several prizes and accolades for her music both in Europe and Internationally.

The first song I heard from this lady was "Bounce" from the second album "Unbelievable".  This little catchy Pop number was similar to the voice of Jennifer Love-Hewitt, who I originally thought it was.  It caught my attention and I claimed more of her albums after looking her up on YouTube, she is a very versatile artist.

The first album "Green Eyed Soul" opened with the Prince-like "Let's Get Back To Bed Boy!" featuring rapping by TQ.  Also included is the Electronic based "Make U High" which is similar style to Misteeq and TLC.  The slow and steamy "French Kissing" could be Christina Aguilera at her best whereas the massive hit "From Sarah With Love" just oozes vocal class.

"Unbelievable", album 2 contains the hit mentioned earlier "Bounce" and the powerful vocal performing "Where Did U Sleep Last Nite?".  There is a Wyclef Jean collaboration "One Nite Stand (Of Wolves and Sheep)" and catchy little Jackson 5-style track "Sweet Thang".  The first two albums show Sarah Connor likes to experiment and has taken a lot of influences into the music.

The 3rd album "Key To My Soul" came in 2003 and was a very light, soft set of tracks.  The fastest paced songs are the funky Electronica "My Intuition" and the cheeky, sexy "Are You Ready To Ride?".  The beautiful ballad hit "Music Is The Key"(a duet with Naturally 7) was huge around Europe.  The album ends with "Turn Off The Lights" complete with finger-clicks and sax, this is Sarah as the classy chanteuse.

The fourth album is titled "Naughty But Nice".  There's Pop-Electro-Funk hit single "From Zero To Hero" from the film "Robots" and the sexy girlie pop of "You Are My Desire".  "I Just Started Being Bad" is very much like Girls Aloud or The Saturdays.  The gorgeous "Happy Anniversary" and hit anthemic ballad "Living To Love You" are especially good listens.

Sarah is not just a Pop wannabe, her albums showcase a lot of influences and her songwriting talent as well as her versatile vocals.


Sarah Connor has released 7 albums to date (the 3 latest being "Soulicious", an album of Motown covers from the 60s, 70s and 80s, "Sexy As Hell" and the recent "Real Love").  She has also released "Sarah Connor", a compilation of her hits and the seasonal "Christmas In My Heart" collection.

Songs to introduce you to the lovely Sarah Connor are listed below.

"Let's Get Back To Bed Boy!", "French Kissing", "From Sarah With Love", "Make U High", "Undressed".
(From the album "Green Eyed Soul").
"Bounce", "One Nite Stand (Of Wolves and Sheep)", "Where Did U Sleep last Nite?", "Sweet Thang", "Skin On Skin".
(From the album "Unbelievable").
"My Intuition", "Are You Ready To Ride?", "Turn Off The Lights", "Music Is The Key", "Just One Last Dance".
(From the album "Key To My Soul").
"From Hero To Zero", "You Are My Desire", "I Just Started Being Bad", "Happy Anniversary", "Living To Love You".
(From the album "Naughty But Nice").
"The Impossible Dream (The Quest)", "Sexual Healing", "Son of a Preacher Man", "One Day I'll Fly Away", "Soothe My Soul".
(From the album "Soulicious").
"Sexy As Hell", "Play", "Touch", "I'll Kiss It Away", "Fall Apart"
(From the album "Sexy As Hell")
"Real Love", "Cold As Ice", "Break My Chains", "Stand Up", "Rodeo".
(From the album "Real Love").


Thursday, 15 November 2012


From Abba and The Sweet to Blondie, from Bon Jovi to Prince and Madonna, my first proper fan experience was with Adam and the Ants.

The 80s for me is still the greatest music era, such variety and the emergence of the music video and the "stars" were justifiably named so.

Adam Ant with his band epitomise the 80s.  With forays from Punk to New Romantic, from Pop to Rock and the mini movies Adam put the fun back into music.  He is still an idol to Antpeople everywhere.

From that first appearance on Top of the Pops singing "Dog Eat Dog", the Ants captured me as a 12 year old boy with their look, sound and originality.

This was going to be my first taste of fandom, I was hooked.  I bought magazines and the back catalogue of music, anything about this new refreshing, exciting band.

Rockers mocked Adam, punks said he sold out, but there was something unique about this guy.  Everything he said and did had teenagers, parents and grandparents keen to take him as an excellent role model.

Adam inspired me to write more songs and poems and as he started as a graphic designer I dreamt of following in his footsteps into the world of music.  It didn't quite work out that way for me but the inspiration was there.

I still bought all his records after the Live Aid performance of "Vive Le Rock" when everyone assumed he was finished.  He went to L.A. to begin an acting career but records after that were quickly bought up by fans, although not major hits.

My collection of Ant memorabilia and music still make me smile, as it takes me back to a good time in my life.  I had no worries, life was free and the future looked bright.

Adam's music was for me fun and honest, although in hindsight there were hidden messages of regret, despair and anger behind the smiles.  These only came to my notice when reading his recent autobiography which made me respect him even more.

He struggled with depression and fits of mania and once tried to take his own life.  Stalkers made his life hell and eventually he broke to pieces a few years ago to end up in a mental hospital.

Adam Ant is unique, through all of his trauma and pain and even the stealing of his first band by Malcolm McLaren he has fought back to do what he loves best, the music.

With a new album and already touring his new material, the Ant is back.

Antpeople will always hold him in high esteem, a quiet genius with a vision who became an idol to millions.  Now he is a happy human being again and should be given respect for setting the platform for the 80s, a decade of the best music, video and artists of all time.

It's dog eat dog in this world, and the king of the wild frontier became a Prince Charming.  Whether you are friend or foe, he made life a tiny bit more wonderful.


Sunday, 11 November 2012

KANE - Dutch band

Kane are a Dutch Rock group, make proper "Guitar Rock" and were inspired by bands like U2, Pearl Jam, Queen and Nirvana.  So much inspired by U2 in fact that they released a special live tribute album "With Or Without You" in 2000 featuring U2 songs including "Acrobat" which even the Irish rockers have never released in a live format.  The band started in 1998 when co-founders Dinand Woesthoff and Dennis van Leeuwen met in a becah cafe in The Hague in Holland.  The first album "As Long As You Want This" was on the national album chart for 18 months and they have won quite a few European based awards.

Dinand's wife was Guusje and she died of breast cancer in 2004, the song "Dreamer" from the 5th album, "Fearless" was devoted and dedicated to her memory.

I first heard the band on the Internet singing "So Glad You made It" from the album of the same name and just loved this guy's voice.  As I listened to more songs I couldn't understand why I had not heard of them before.  In Scandinavian countries and especially Holland and Belgium they are a big name but outside Europe and here in the UK they are an unknown quantity.

The first album "As Long As You Want This" introduces the style of the band perfectly.  From the opening hard rocking title track and the melodic guitars on "Can You Handle Me?" to the gorgeous ballad "Damn Those Eyes".  The album is full of variation, tuneful melodies and foot tapping rockers.

"So Glad You Made It" is the second album and the one that got me hooked on this great band.  The title track as mentioned above was the breakthrough song for me, a fast paced sing-along rock song that wasn't unlike INXS at their peak.  The usual eclectic mix of styles are here, the atmospheric "Let It Be", soft Acoustic number "Mother", and the classic 80s style Pop Rock of "Hold On To The World".

Album number 3 "Fearless" arrived in the wake of Dinand's wife's sad death and was understandably more downbeat but still classic Kane.  Opening with the haunting "Go" it then jumps into high speed with the single "Something To Say".  The uplifting "Don't Let It Pass You By" keeps up the positive if somewhat sad trail to the final song devoted to the singer's beloved partner "Dreamer".  "Faith" and "All I Can Do" are stand out ballads.

The next album "Everything You Want" opened with the unusual single "Catwalk Criminal", which kicks off with a minute of synths then explodes into a soaring guitar and drum chorus.  In fact this album has more electronic sounds than previous albums and was more a Billy Idol/INXS hybrid of rock-synth-pop style but Dinand's voice told you it was Kane you were listening to.

"Shot Of A Gun" is an 80s pop ballad while "Yeah Yeah Yeah" is a funky riff-laden pop rocker.  There is a big 80s Pop-Rock feel on this album and "Are You Feelin It" epitomises this set of tracks perfectly.

Kane have released 5 studio albums, a live album "February" and a live tribute to U2.  The new album " Come Together" will be here in 2013 following 2009's "No Surrender".  Their music should already be global in my opinion.

Songs to look out for as an introduction to Kane, this cool rock band are listed below.

"As Long As You Want This", "Can You Handle Me?", "Damn Those Eyes", "Where Do I Go Now", "Not Here".
(From the album "As Long As You Want This").
"Rain Down On Me", "So Glad You Made It", "Hold On To The World", "Let It Be", "Mother".
(From the album "So Glad You Made It").
"Something To Say", "Don't Let It Pass You By", "Believe It",  "All I Can Do", "Dreamer".
(From the album "Fearless").
"Catwalk Criminal", "Wanna Make It Happen", "Shot Of A Gun", "Yeah Yeah Yeah", "Are You Feelin It".
(From the album "Everything You Want")
"Heartbeat", "Scream", "Love Over Healing", "Here Comes The End", "Devil In Me".
(From the album "No Surrender")