Being a club-hound doesn't necessarily make one a raver. There are plenty of people who love dance-pop but don't necessarily care for a rave-oriented sound -- in other words, they prefer dance music that has vocal personality and a real song structure (as opposed to the type of rave music that is all beat and no melody). And those who like their electronica with a lot of pop appeal will find a lot to admire about Club Nation America, Vol. 2. On this two-CD set, the New York-based al b. Rich provides a nonstop dance mix that is rhythmically exhilarating but, for the most part, doesn't ignore things like melody, song structure, and vocal personality. Consequently, dancers who prefer a dance-pop outlook over a more underground rave outlook will appreciate the way Rich presents early 2000s club hits like DJ Encore & Engelina's "I Can See Right Through to You," Flip & Fill's "True Love Never Dies" (which features singer Kelly Llorenna), and DJ Sammy and Yanou's unlikely remake of Bryan Adams' "Heaven" -- on these tracks, Rich is mindful of vocal personality as well as the beat. Most of the artists on this double CD are club-friendly, but occasionally, someone from outside the club realm gets the club treatment.
Mary J. Blige was never a dance diva -- she's a neo-soul/urban contemporary singer with hip-hop leanings -- but the Thunderpuss team manages to make "No More Drama" more club-sounding. Nor is RES a dance diva; her music is an unconventional, risk-taking blend of alternative pop/rock, urban, and hip-hop. But thanks to Robbie Rivera's excellent remix of RES' "They-Say Vision," the Philadelphia singer visits the dancefloor.
One of the stronger club/dance-pop compilations of 2002, Club Nation America, Vol. 2 is enthusiastically recommended to club-hounds who hold rhythm and melody in equally high regard.
|Gotta Get Thru This||Al B. Rich feat: Daniel Bedingfield||2:30|
|Like a Prayer / Patrick Leonard / Madonna||Al B. Rich feat: Mad'House||3:39|
|Shiny Disco Balls / Arnaldo Alicea||Al B. Rich feat: Jessica Eve / Who da Funk||3:02|
|Lady (Hear Me Tonight) / B.H. Edwards / Nile Rodgers / Romain Tranchart||Al B. Rich feat: Modjo||4:36|
|No More Drama / James Harris III / Perry Botkin, Jr. / Terry Lewis / Barry De Vorzon||Al B. Rich feat: Mary J. Blige||4:50|
|Drop Some Drums / Stephen Allkins / Justin Shave||Al B. Rich feat: [Love] Tattoo||4:51|
|Real Fonky Time||Al B. Rich feat: Dax Riders||3:44|
|Mother (Are You Ready to Play?) / Steve Edwards / Russell Small||Al B. Rich feat: M-Factor||4:39|
|Love Will Set You Free (Jambe Myth) / Daniele Cannizzaro / Steve Lee||Al B. Rich feat: Starchaser||4:57|
|Alive (Triple X Vs. Highpass Dub)||Al B. Rich feat: Alive / D.D. Klien||4:12|
|I'll Be Waiting / Michael Gray / Kevin Hedge / Josh Milan / Jon Pearn||Al B. Rich feat: Full Intention / Shena||4:30|
|They-Say Vision / Martin McKinney / S. White||Al B. Rich feat: Res||4:23|