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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Holiday '17 by Parralox

Dear Poptastic Readers,

For the fourth year in a row, Parralox has released an album at the end of year in their Holiday series. Don't be fooled by the title, as it isn't always a Christmas theme. Instead, it is mostly made up of covers and the name was inspired by The Human League's Holiday '80. So far, Parralox have released Holiday '14, Holiday '15, Holiday '16, and you guessed it ... the latest release is Holiday '17.




We didn't review it in December because of our countdown of our favorite songs of 2017. In case you missed it, Parralox had the #1 song of 2017 with the fantastic "Electric Nights."




First up on Holiday '17 is "O Tannenbaum" featuring Katja von Kassel. Yes, this is the original German lyrics that many of us English speakers know as "O Christmas Tree." This is a lovely version. Listen here.




Now this next track is the shining star in our opinion. It their remake of Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams" written by Stevie Nicks. This is simply AMAZING! Louise Love takes the lead vocals and her vocal warmup inspired John to cover the song. We love how Louise always gives a cool vocal performance, and she really shines on this. John also does a great job on backing vocals and he just makes the music so hypnotizing that you want to hit repeat as soon as it is done. We just can't get enough. Listen to Parralox's version here.




The third track is a cover of an instrumental Human League track called "The Dignity Of Labour (Part 3)." We like it! Listen to Parralox's version here.




"I'm Not Scared" is the fourth track. It was originally recorded by the British group Eighth Wonder. However, it was written by the Pet Shop Boys. Louise takes on the vocals here. This is such a lush song. It's also a bit of a long one as it clocks in at over 7 minutes. Listen to it here.




The fifth track is a cover of Depeche Mode's "Shine." We weren't familiar with the original track as it appeared on their 2001 album Exciter and it wasn't a single. Kudos to Parralox for picking this jewel. John sings lead vocals to this one. Listen to it here.




Track 6 is a remake of "Who Knows What Love Is" by Strawberry Switchblade. We didn't know this one either. Apparently it was a single for the group in 1985, but it didn't set the charts on fire. Louise sings the lead here. It's happy and dreamy. Have a listen here.




The seventh track is another Depeche Mode cover. This time for the song "Fools." You guessed it. We didn't know this one either. It was the b-side to the band's 1983 single "Love, In Itself." John is lead here, too. Listen here.




Out of the blue comes this down-tempo Elvis Presley cover called "Love Letters." John takes the lead and sounds great. Hear it here.




The beat picks back up with Track 9. It is a cover of "The Dancer" by Secret Service. We didn't know anything about them other than they were an 80s new wave group from Sweden. This has a great melody and John sings this. You can hear Parralox's version here.




The tenth song is a remake of the 1980 single "A Forest" by The Cure. John is on lead vocals on this one, too. It's a great song. Listen to it here.




The album ends with a cover of "Stop/Start" by The Assembly. This song was the b-side to the group's only single "Never Never." Vince Clark (of Erasure, and formerly of Depeche Mode) was in the group. This song is an instrumental. Have a listen to Parralox's version here.


All-in-all, Holiday '17 is a great album, even if you have never heard the original songs before. It just makes it that much more special. You can hear the album on Spotify, but to really help support Parralox, please buy the music so they can have more money to keep making fabulous records. We've added our favourite  "Dreams" and some other tracks to our 2018 Poptastic Confessions Playlist on Spotify.




Cheers then,

—Davearama


P.S. For more information on Parralox, check out their official website. You can also like their official Facebook page and follow them on Twitter. While you are at it, you can like our Poptastic Confessions Facebook page

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