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.”