MUSIC REVIEWS
by: Francis Tanneur
Opinions expressed are those of the individual writer for informational purpose
only. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions or viewpoints of
Freestyle Music.Com.

Contact Francis Tanneur at: francistanneur@hotmail.com


MUSIC REVIEWS # 2 

LAURA: "Only in my dreams"(12 inch) WISE GUY RECORDS

Score: 4 stars

When you’ll buy this record, I advise you to jump straight away on the Dreaming Freestyle mix whose violent beat is much more aggressive that the recent "You were meant for me" by Synthia Figueroa should ravish even the most choosy Old School amateur. This version also includes wonderful key sequences and the sumptuous voice of Laura brings the last element to make a masterpiece out of this title.

WISE GUY RECORDS is one of the rare Freestyle labels to treat us with products (sometimes rare) in which quality is always there, awaiting you! Let it be know!

GEORGE LAMOND: "Without you’ 98"(CD single) TIMBER! RECORDS / TOMMY BOY MUSIC

Score: 2 stars

Considered by many as the "King of Freestyle", George Lamond will certainly disappoint many Freestylers with this reprise (especially the purists) and in the wake of it, he might loose his crown!

These new remixes are, alas, way far from being as great as those of 1989, in spite of the presence of many Freestyle VIPs on board (Chris Barbosa, Joey Gardner, Willie "Valentin" Rivera, J.J Flores, Slammin’ Sam Maxion…) All those renown artists have just remixed this song with current sounds (Progressive Freestyle, Bass…). Even the Old School mix is on the fringe of the con job since it is almost identical to the 1989 gem. So where’s the interest?

The only correct interesting mixes are Valentin’s bass mix (by Willie "Valentin" Rivera and the numerous House music versions of Ray Roc Checo & Peter Presta (for the roc & presta’s vocal mix) or those of J.J Flores (for the J.J Flores superb club mix).

If "Without you’ 98" is supposed to rekindle George Lamond’s career on the Freestyle and Dance music scene, why not! Freestyle amateurs should be proposed better products, ‘cause this one smells of old dirt and leaves an aftertaste of swindle!

GALAXY FREESTYLE RECORDS DANCE COMPILATION # 1 (CD compilation) GALAXY FREESTYLE RECORDS

Score: No stars

This first compilation from the Californian label is, we can hope the first and the last one, ‘cause the result is a true musical catastrophe. This kind of compilation is a nuisance for the Freestyle market. All the productions on this CD (with the exception of Synthia Figueroa and Josette) are disastrous.

If the endeavour was to ridicule Freestyle producer Randy Taylor Weber and his label GALAXY FREESTYLE RECORDS, have struck a big blow. Instead of meeting the Freestyle galaxy, you’ll be sucked into a gigantic black hole.

DMA FREESTYLE FLAVA (CD medley) FUSEBOX / 404 MUSIC GROUP, INC.

Score: 1 star

How gruesome to see good Latin Hip-Hop titles (Stevie B’s "Funky melody", Cynthia & Johnny O’s "Dreamboy / Dreamgirl», Lisette Melendez’s "Make the way", Debbie Deb’s "Lookout weekend», Buffy’s "2 find u", Leticia’s "Why do you treat me so badly"…) mixed with artists and musics so bad as Pretty Poison "Catch me I’m falling’98", Mila Marcil’s "I don’t think so", Lianna’s "Feel it", Emotion in Motion’s "Forever"…

This medley is a real massacre, on every level.

CYNTHIA: "If I had the chance"(CD single) TIMBER! RECORDS / TOMMY BOY MUSIC

Score: 3 stars

After the rather terrible "Like a star", all the fans longed for this new single. Even if "If I had the chance" hasn’t got the quality and the Latin Hip-Hop sound of her past hits (like the ones on the MICMAC RECORDS label, even the remarkable TIMBER!’s "How I love him", back in 1994), we discover here a fresh Cynthia, full of inspiration. Her superb voice (one of the most beautiful of Freestyle) is pushed forward and do most of the work. You definitely have to listen to the Timber radio edit and the Timber mix of El Nino. These two versions should start a fire in every nightclub.

The other Freestyle mix, very West Coast style and signed by Slammin’ Sam Maxion (S.E RECORDS / SLAMMIN’ ENTERPRISES) gives headaches to those who can manage to find something in this all-too-confused effects. And all the talent of Cynthia can’t manage to save the production from wreckage. Sam Maxion has used us to better things.

But for the two El Nino’s versions, buy it.

SYNTHIA FIGUEROA: "You were meant for me"(12 inch) ARTISTIK RECORDS / DMD ENTERTAINMENT, INC

Score: 4 stars

Listening to the Willie Valentin’s club mix on the A-side, one can figure that this single is the most daring since Laura’s "Only in my dreams", on WISE GUY RECORDS.

A-side the mighty Old School rhythm beat and the happy-weepy moving melody, the song has two edits sequences that moves the whole thing back to the 80’s (Omar Santana’s, Chep Nunez’s, Tony Garcia’s dubs…ring any bell?). Willie Valentin has at last understood that a Latin Hip-Hop song has to be sided by edits. He alone could have done it and…here is! It was time.

Only bad news: the Randy Taylor B-side, flooded by an awful Progressive Freestyle sound. Too bad.

ATILLA FEATURING FRANKIE BOY: "Margarita" (12 inch) VENTURA INTERNATIONAL RECORDS / MAXIMUM RECORDS (Canada)

Score: 4 stars

In 1995, "My precious love" that could be heard in all Latin Hip-Hop ears, was one of the most impressive production of this time. With "Margarita", the talents of the notorious Frankie Boy are now fully justified: he proves us that he is the rising star of the Freestyle. Look for him in the next years… although preceded by a lot of great versions, I truly recommend you the Extended Club Version (with a Planet Rock beat), but also the Miami Beach Version, in pure Miami Sound tradition (beat bass, melodious keyboards, a pinch of Salsa…)

Sang in English and Spanish at the same time, Frankie Boy’s latin and warm voice on "Margarita", is sure, like the same alcohol, to be drink with joy. To sail to the hot tropical atmosphere, nothing’s like Margarita. Consume without moderation.

KIMBERLEE: "Neverland" (12 inch) DETOUR RECORDS

Score: 1 star

For the first free lance production, the DETOUR RECORDS label has decided to prefer Dance music to the Freestyle. On this maxi vinyl, only the Freestyle mix has great melodies and cool keyboards. But, overall, "Neverland" is a deception. On the Miami Nation mix, Gerald J. Godbout (the producer) has opted for a mixing sound, halfway between Progressive Freestyle and Miami Sound. More over, the rap, interpreted by Kimberlee herself, is not a good idea, because the chorus settled with splendid keyboards, pushes forward the melody and the rap take it backwards. Wrong choice.

Something to be disappointed when one knows the talent and imagination of Gerald J. Godbout.

ARTIE & CHRISSY I-EECE: "Secret lovers" (12 inch) MICMAC RECORDS

Score: 3 stars

I’ll be franc with you: the first time I listened to this record I was not convinced, even indifferent. But, after sometime, I started to enjoy this song, even if it’s not a major break in the genre. Sadly, Arsenio Artie Rodriguez has the bad habit of always serving the same dish. This single is nevertheless of good crafting, and the duet is working fine. He just doesn’t manage to exploit the vocal talents of Chrissy I-eece, by using a more aggressive rhythm beat (like in the George Lamond’s "Bad of the heart"). And some edits should have been great too!

But let’s not be hasty: "Secret lovers" has to be in your collection.

FREESTYLE A NEW DIMENSION IN TYME VOL. 1 (CD compilation) X-ESS / PRYME TYME RECORDS

Score: 4 stars

We know it: each work deserves its reward. And this compilation, for only one reason, has to be known by all the Freestyle lovers: it’s incredible! All the titles can be potential major hits (to be sure, just listen to Larise’s "Over the years", Saint’s "Someone", Freddy Lopez’s "I keep on trying", or the magnificent Cheree’s "Last time"- such a comeback!).

Let’s hope the producers (Michael Lunn & Dennis Ciallela) will have the knack to issue some of these in 12 inches.

ARTIE & FRIENDS: "Back to basics" (CD album) MICMAC RECORDS

Score: 2 stars

The less we can say is that Artie Rodriguez has lot friends! Some of them are even some Latin Hip-Hop legends: Chrissy I-eece, Judy Torres, Tonasia, And More, Aby of TKA…We grew eager for this album to become a cult classic but, alas! Even if there’s nothing to say about the melodies and the voices, Artie is once again, restricted by the limited use of this New School beat.

One album, one song. That’s it. Hungry for more.


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