Hot Singles For Spring
Letting You Go (Greece 2000)
The late '90s were an evolutionary peak for the trance music genre, both in accomplishment and regard. The genre got so many of its truly outstanding musical accomplishments in those years of passionate creation, and American gay clubs and club compilation series included it alongside house music as an equal partner. One of those musical accomplishments was Three Drives' (aka 3 Drives on A Vinyl) ubiquitous 1997 instrumental anthem "Greece 2000," whose skittering melody and waterfall strings found their way onto zillions of compilations and DJ playlists well past the year its title's future referenced. Since then the track has been remixed and re-released endlessly, but until now has never been given a vocal facelift. Now reconstructed as "Letting You Go (Greece 2000)" by Dabruck & Klein, the new vocal element adds intention and the sing-a-long capacity the instrumentation always begged for: "You can say what you want to/Cry me a river if you need to/Put my name in a tattoo/I'm letting you go." Also included are monstrous non-vocal makeovers by Markus Schulz and Roger Shah, rounding out the most gorgeous re-issue of this classic yet.
Be With You
One thing that's always been in short supply in dance music is charismatic male vocals that have the same delicately beautiful texture as a woman's. Leave it to The Gays to provide emotional depth. On Erasure's second single from the Tomorrow's World album, Andy Bell's words deliver the kind of sentiment most of us hate admitting that we supremely long for, and do so through the vehicle of a man's strong voice instead of that one degree of diva removal. The feather-touch keyboards on the album version from super-producer Vince Clarke and album producer Frankmusik serve the lyrics' message best, but the Moto Blanco Club Mix will of course be the format of choice for DJs, which frames nicely their newly refreshed sound from the "copy & paste" remix treatments they'd been doing for years. Also notable is the remix package's inclusion of an acoustic version of the track which, while of course lacking all the production bells and whistles, has that warm, feel-good vibe from a gorgeous string accompaniment.
If It Wasn't for Love
Just when it felt like all our true divas had been replaced with Auto-Tuned blondes, Deborah comes roaring back to blow those bitches out of the software-dependent soundscape. Not since 2009's "Beautiful U R" and "Leave the World Behind" have we had a real dance floor offering from Cox, but this one more than makes up for those two years of radio silence. Presented in multiple flavors by Mixin Marc, Papercha$er, Razor & Guido and [Tracy] Young Collective, "If It Wasn't for Love" is a clubland love song, citing love as the thing that saved her from an imminent downward spiral and destruction. Deborah's voice is as powerhouse as it ever was, and her spiral staircase crescendo on the word "love" could pull any tragedy from his K-hole. All mixes are strong, but the trophy for best look goes to Tracy Young, who gives the track that heavily-produced Circuit sound that makes Young such a dependable staple. Look for several rumored forthcoming releases from Cox in 2012 with producers John Dahlback, Rune RK and Erick Morillo.
David Guetta featuring Sia
This is the one I was waiting for since the Nothing But the Beat tracks started leaking over the summer. It's finally here in all its remixed glory. "Titanium" follows the format of most of the tracks on the Beat album: simple verses linked together by a chorus that really lets the featured vocalist show off what they've got, interjected with breakdown moments that let Guetta do what he does best. What makes "Titanium" such a standout is the rawness and honesty in Sia's delivery; her voice is one that simultaneously delivers a gale force and an idiosyncratic candor that hits you like the words "I love you" pushed through tears. Beyond that, "Titanium" is also an anthem for the lovelorn, the chorus empowering any who've been heartbroken to stand up and fight: "I'm bulletproof, nothing to lose/Fire away, fire away/You shoot me down but I won't fall/I am titanium." It doesn't get any better than that. Remixers include Alesso, Nicky Romero, Arno Cost and Gregori Klosman. Also, look for the original recording of "Titanium" with Mary J. Blige on vocals. Compare and contrast.