Coming back with a bang! Got some rest, checked out my fave websites, the whole bit. Now for some pop!
R-Angels (so named because some fans told them that they were their angels! Aww. Not sure if I believe that, but it sounds sweet.) were one of the many groups launched on the cusp of the millennium, attempting to become the American equavilent of the Spice Girls. Dorothy, Gina, Vonnie, and Lian (l-to-r) were Motown Records' entry into the game in 2000. Their first single, "I Need to Know" (not a Marc Anthony cover ;) ), was on the soundtrack to the animated movie Stuart Little. However, it didn't catch on; and after one little-promoted (and far superior) follow-up, "Left to Right", Motown cut their losses and dropped the whole project. Their album, Where's the Party, did not recieve a formal release; I only managed to acquire it through Columbia House or another music club that happened to have some copies laying around and let you pick it as one of your selections, as opposed to turning the material into pulp. (I wish they'd do that with more albums...*sobs for Fefe Dobson's Sunday Love*) The group split shortly after. Lian and Dorothy were close friends and both auditioned for the second season of Popstars in America, the latter winning a spot in the equally ill-fated group Scene 23 (more on them someday). I don't know what's happened to any of them since that. The album is a mixed bag...some songs (especially their attempts at "sexy" "r&b") were hilariously bad, and their voices weren't that great, but some is quality pop that seems to have completely dissapeared.
Left To Right - This song is cute and catchy, no matter how hard it flopped. If i'm not mistaken, it didn't even have a music video. It was co-written by Jorgen Elofsson, who worked with Max Martin in the Cherion days, but by then had struck out on his own. There's a brief rap portion in it too, by one of the girls, but it's more what you got from boy bands than any actual hip-hop. If this had been the first single, maybe things would have turned out differently for them.
Not the Girl I Used 2 Be - Written by Full Force (with the help of a sample), the production team who first came to prominence back in the '80s with Lisa Lisa and classic freestyle pop songs like "I Wonder If I Take You Home" and "All Cried Out". They later did some songs for Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC. It's a pop song with attitude; I think it might even have a chance of being a hit today...at least in the UK. :)
You Belong To My Heart - Another example of classic millenium Swedish pop. Such a pretty mid-tempo song with a great melody. It's a bright and cheery song that will probably lift your mood. This was definitely my favorite of theirs, then and now.
Home Work - Okay, this is total cheese, and possibly a hint at their target audience: "Boy you did your homework well/Reading my heart like a book". The school analogy permeates throughout the whole thing (which makes it all the more ironic when one part in the chorus is grammatically incorrect). Like the last song, this was written and produced by Jorden Aberg and Paul Rein, more Swedes. Only they could get away with writing something like this.
Always You - Nice and boppy. It sounds like early Mandy Moore, which she now disowns. This is the best of several songs on the album that were written by the producers and creators of the group, Vaughn Stewart and John Mortera.
I Need To Know (Hex Hector Remix) - Another Stewart/Mortera production. This is nowhere near the best song on the album, so I can only assume that they chose this song as the lead single because they'd get more royalties off it, instead of having to pay different producers to do more than half the album. The music video was also very low-budget; something involving a slumber party. Some of the melody is simple, and almost nursery rhyme like. I don't have a problem with that, but when there are several bonafide pop gems on this album, it almost seems like a crime that they put this out. This radio-length dance remix is way better than the original version, partly because the original's production seems a bit tinny.