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.
A major part of 90s clubland was the love and respect for the diva – the big female vocal records that everyone sang along to. Oftentimes the singers came from gospel roots and belted out spiritually uplifting messages about “Joy” and “Happiness” There were also the pop and r&b divas whose songs found a second life with incredible club remixes which totally transformed them for a new club audience. For the nuHouse 90s revival of 2014, here are three new tracks that sample a line or two of classic club records and update them to fit the current vibe. “I Got U” reworks Whitney Houston’s “My Love is Your Love” which originally featured an anthemic Thunderpuss remix that sampled Raze’s “Break 4 Love.” Arches’ “There’s a Place” is a cover version using the full vocals from Diana Ross “Take Me Higher” which originally shone with a classic house mix by Tommy Regisford and Kevin Hedge. “I Wanna Feel,” by Second City, takes two lines from Toni Braxton’s “You’re Makin’ Me High” which dominated clubland with a fierce David Morales remix. While all three of these tracks are fresh, modern and will do well in any club, you should take a moment an explore the original remixes as well.
Images courtesy of Virgin, Columbia and Ministry of Sound.
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.”