As autumn breezes sweep in a fresh, new season, there has probably been no finer dance-music album this past summer -- or perhaps for all 2012 to date -- than David Morales' Changes, available through iTunes and CD Universe. It is the first album from the Grammy Award-winning producer/remixer/dj since Two Worlds Collide in 2004.
The beautifully conceived and executed techno-disco single, "Golden Era" preceded the album release. It features the outstanding Roisin Murphy on vocals, in a swirl of strings and cowbells above the got-to-move bass line. Morales says of Murphy, in an interview with Joonbug, "She is not just some bubblegum chick that went la-la-la." In fact, this is not a "la-la-la" album of house tracks by any means. Here, we're going deeper with meaning, with diva attitude, with style, with music. But it's an upbeat series of tracks in any event. Just get that bubblegum out your mouth when you shake your ass to the rhythm.
The remixes of "Golden Era" are highly recommended and can be purchased from Amazon.com.
Ok, this album is simply amazing, and the divahood factor is through the roof as Morales works with a sampling of clubland's best. Janice Robinson is totally fantastic singing her self-penned "What Do You Believe In?" It's a touching number that will also make you want to move. Janice has recently been writing hits for others, like Frenchie Davis and Deborah Cox, so it's livin' joy to find her returning to the studio and stage as vocalist, reclaiming her spotlight.
Divahood is powerful, David acknowledges, with no less than three numbers from the divine Ultra Nate. Her "I Really Love" kicks off the album with regal style, though "Planet Called Love" may be my fave of the three.
Polina is on hand with the dreamy "Holiday" (no, not the song by you-know-who), "Stay" (the album's second single with remixes) and "Fall In Love." Tamra Keenan has two offerings included (the catchy "I Don't Belong Here" and "7 Days"), and Jonathan Mendelsohn is the sole male artist, offering some controlled testosterone vocals ("You Just Don't Love Me" and "Last Time") on two tracks as well.
This is an expertly produced, melodic work of disco genius. Strong artists, strong lyrics, just beautifully done music from a true maestro in the world of dance, David Morales. So, say goodbye to summer -- and bubblegum!
Below, my favorite remix of "Stay" by the fabulous Joe T. Vannelli, who knows how to work a song: