Reviewed by: Ben Norman
Dance music is its own punishment and its own reward. No statement is more true when listening to Alex Gaudino’s ‘Doctor Love’ album. Alex Gaudino, who has been responsible for tracks like “Destination Calabria” and “What A Feeling,” the 2012 Pride song with Kelly Rowland, does nothing more than pump out feel-good dance pop jams. It’s pervasive, perverse, and perfunctory, but you’ll dance your ass off and blare it through your speakers while driving down the road, and no one could say anything less about you since they’ll be doing it, too.
While albums like ‘Doctor Love’ don’t push the agenda of quality dance music, they also don’t detract from the validity and presence of dance in the mainstream. It’s nothing new, but it’s done well and with consistency. Tracks like “I’m In Love (I Wanna Do It)” and “Your Love Gets Me High” bring back the feeling of when artists like DHT and DJ Sammy were flooding the airwaves – empty calorie but very tasty tracks that induce rumpshaking. The album shies away from female vocalists for the most part, Kelly Rowland and Jordin Sparks being the big names (“What a Feeling” and “Is This Love” respectively), Gaudino choosing to exploit male vocals for over half his album. Jay Sean, JRDN, Taboo, Niles Mason, and Mario guest spot on various tracks. JRDN’s contribution, “Playing With My Heart,” has some entertaining remixes.
The album also features some instrumental tracks. This is where you find Gaudino flexing his muscles a little bit more. Instrumental tracks are a dime a dozen (actually, so are vocal tracks), but where the vocal tracks rely on a catchy vocal hook, instrumental tracks need something to separate them from the crowd. Deadmau5 will use lush sonic soundscapes, and that’s a reliable trick. For Gaudino, he delves into the sound that defined LMFAO, a pseudo-stadium synth over pulsating beats and electro quirks. While this could really be what gives Gaudino his edge, instead of flexing true muscle, the effect is akin to the “before” rather than “after” picture from those workout infomercials.
As I said, dance music, and ‘Doctor Love’, is its own punishment and reward. You get some good beats and a great way to pass a short road trip. With the exception of “Magnificent” with Polina, the rest of the album is derivative and trite. You’ll love it for the moment you’re listening to it, and then forget it and move onto the next new album.