Friday, October 07, 2011

The Great Shake

Song: The Great Shake
Artist: Planet Funk
Album: The Great Shake

Planet Funk are an Italian electronic dance-rock band that formed way back in 1999.  They have released three albums and one best of compilation, though I am only just getting familiar with their fourth and latest album, "The Great Shake."  The band has gone through a handful of singers that they've used as guests from track to track, but Alex Uhlmann joined in November 2010 as the lead singer of the band, and chief vocalist for the new album.

The album itself reminded me a little of Sweden's Teddybears, having a compilation vibe with every track having a distinct sound, except with "The Great Shake," it's all held together a bit more by Uhlmann's sole voice.  The band's sound isn't straight up dance, nor is it simply rock... it's a mix, and more all-around "pop" if anything else.  I initially heard the title track which I absolutely fell in love with, but also really like album opener "All Your Love," as well as second track and first single "Another Sunrise." (though I think the first two mentioned are better songs.)  ["The Great Shake" the song reminds me of something that I can't put my finger on... readers, do you hear something familiar?]

The album is consistent in its quality, and a good varied listen even if every track isn't super attention-grabbing.  Kind of a surprise for me as the band seemed to come out of nowhere, I've been intrigued into hearing some of their older material as I've read that their 2001 single "Chase the Sun" became popular when Sky Sports, a UK & Irish TV group, used the track to cover the Professional Darts Corporations major tournaments, and therefore became a "cult hit" with dart fans. There's a niche eh?

I just nabbed their self-titled best of from 2009 to see what their early sound was all about, but I am highly recommending "The Great Shake" now, good stuff.


The Great Shake
All Your Love
Another Sunrise

1 comment:

zvolencan1 said...

It's a pity you actually didn't mention a comparison between the former stuff with this new album. The first album Non Zero Sumness is a material altogether unique in the world music. I think Planet Funk there created their own music style. It isn't dance, it isn't electronic, pop, trance, but it is rather a combination, unchallenged in the world music scene. On the second album The Illogical Consequence there is a reminder of this style in a few songs, but there could be heard a step down from the high standard they set with the first album. Then came the album Static, which was in my opinion a complete disaster with an exception in the song of the same name - Static. After that there was a long pause, no big wonder considering their last messed up album, but then came the compilation with three new songs added, from which Lemonade and Paper Feathers were again reminding us of the good old Planet Funk style.
So here we are with the latest album and as the GREAT fan of this band (just check this page of mine I must say I am disappointed once again. The songs are returning to the style from the song Come Alive from the second album, but all of them sound JUST THE SAME. What a pity! What a waste of talent! Listening to the album I was waiting for the good old style from 2004, but it never came! :((( There were a few moments where the band experimented with sounds as was their custom once (like in song No.7 sung in Italian, which is the best on this album in my opinion), but the true Planet Funk style was missing throughout the whole album. On top of all that, getting a lead singer placed them among ordinary pop groups playing everything only on one card. A variety of singers on previous albums added again the unique artistic value, and I personaly really miss Dan Black and Sally Doherty. *kiss* They were SO FITTING for the atmosphere of the songs...
So the conclusion from a great listener of Planet Funk - it is good they forsook the path of the album Static, and got back to at least Come Alive style, but what is too much, is just too much. And I really lack the Non Zero Sumness style, as mentioned before. Final result: C+ from me.