Album Reviews

Uniting Nations – One World

(Gusto) UK release date: 14 November 2005

Having a hit dance record is relatively easycompared to sustaining that success over a full album.Many a Europop outfit in the 1990s enjoyed a hugelysuccessful singles career but ran into a brick wallwhen confronted with the daunting task of an album,reduced to the trick of including multiple mixes ofthe hits, or blatantly copying the formula of thechart smashes.

In that respect Uniting Nations have made a1990s dance album. And yet it’s extraordinary thealbum has come about at all, given that DazSampson lives in Manchester, and PaulKeenan, his partner in crime, is a policeman inScotland. The two fileshare over MSN, so in thatrespect Out Of Touch was a wholly appropriate firsthit for their online studio.

That track retains the perky dancefloor appeal thatsaw it break through from the clubs to the radio, itsupdate on the Hall & Oates original anextremely catchy and upbeat version. To their creditthe duo have gone easy on the cover versions for OneWorld, but unfortunately it shows in second single YouAnd Me, a Eurobeat track strongly reminiscent ofTogether‘s So Much Love To Give – presumably acoincidence. Worst of all though is the second coverversion, of Quincy Jones‘ Ai No Corrida.Vocalist Laura More has previous withtowel-wielding aerobics in Eric Prydz‘s Call OnMe video, and she has a sweet tone, but this versionis a stinker, full of lazy filtering effects.

And this is where the album really falls short,relying on musical clich� for much of its duration.Filter effects aren’t the only crime either, as thereis a heavy reliance on the technique of building upthe drums then dropping them for a beat, as used byRoger Sanchez in Another Chance. Once is finebut five or more times smacks of complacency. It’s notall bad news on the vocal front though. JinianWilde is a perfectly good vocalist, even if a fewshortcomings come over on the acappella samplesoffered as a bonus at the end. DonovanBlackwood has a good voice, overtones ofSeal coming over on his contribution to She’sSpecial.

Elsewhere Tonight (In The City) is suitablynocturnal, and has some nice Balearic touches. MusicIn Me whacks up the guitars but the same formularemains – good beats but very predictable. Destinyattempts to incorporate a trance riff into its core,unsuccessfully, while Make Love retreads the samechord patterns as Out Of Touch. The instrumental BluesAnd Twos is actually the pick of the album tracks, aneasy going loop from the outset.

However the problem of formula remains – there’snothing on here to mark out the boys as long haulchart botherers, and nothing that hasn’t been done todeath before. If you’re a huge fan of the singles youprobably won’t be disappointed, but otherwise I’mafraid it’s mostly a case of out of touch, out oftime.

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Uniting Nations – One World