When you combine a Dianne Warren song with an incredible voice and a brilliant remix, the result is sheer magic (look up the Soul-Hex remix of Toni Braxton “Unbreak My Heart” for a classic example). Paloma’s voice is powerful and unlike anyone else singing right now. Her songs often have a retro vibe with a twist, and “Only Love Can Hurt Like This” sounds like a lost Dusty Springfield gem. In the capable hands of rising DJ/producer Adam Turner, the song is transformed into dance floor magic – primetime progressive pop with a bit of a classic Hi-NRG feel. You can picture the crowd singing along at the break as the drum fill leads them to a climax. It’s no wonder that “Only Love” is Paloma’s most successful single in the UK and hopefully those of us in the States will embrace her quirky lovable talent as well.
When I first saw this, I kept thinking – please don’t be a cover version. To my great delight, “Wishing On A Star” is a glorious pop dance record which melds the slow-to-fast transition (think Soul Solution and Hex Hector’s classic mix of Toni Braxton’s “Unbreak My Heart”) with modern stadium house and electro. It’s in the same vibe as David Guetta/Kelly Rowland “When Love Takes Over” and, more recently, Frenchie Davis “Love’s Got a Hold on Me.” Thankfully the extended mix has a full intro and the dropout to the slower part is accented with a steady beat, so there is no loss of energy (or dancers frantically looking for a beat for an extended time). For a more Avicii-esque take, check out the Odd remix. It’s great to see that the Romanians are discovering the beautiful vocal of Beverlei Brown, a brilliant blend of soothing beauty, balanced power, and a hint of unique quirkiness – like an updated mashup of Gabrielle and Michelle Gayle. If you like “Wishing on a Star,” go back and listen to her track with Adrian Sina “I Can’t Live Without You” and her lost ’90s house classic “On and On.”
Shannon is often credited as having creating the freestyle sound. Her signature record “Let the Music Play” is the genre-defining classic which continues to be a massive club anthem to this day.? If you look around online, there are many conflicting stories about how the song came to be. At the Promo Only Summer Session in Atlantic City, I chatted with the legendary Shannon and got the real story.? Watch for a special 30th Anniversary “Let the Music Play” tour next year, along with long-awaited new material from the legendary Shannon.
Ron Slomowicz: You started as a jazz singer, how did you make it from jazz into dance music?
Shannon: Someone was looking for a singer and had a particular style in mind; I guess I fit the bill. The producers were looking for a singer because ?Let The Music Play? was a rap song and they had put a basic melody to it. When I came, I had a unique style because of the jazz, it was very sultry and yet I could really belt it. I have a pretty loud voice when I belt, I was belting out the notes and adding little additions to the song. They loved it and said I was their girl. Continue reading INTERVIEW: Shannon (2012)