Poptastic Confessions

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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Annikafiore ... Recovered!

It's been just a little over a year since Annikafiore released her debut EP "Preaching To The Choir." And that means it has been a year since I started this blog, as I quickly reviewed that EP for my first blog entry. Yay!

Annikafiore has released her latest EP called "Recovered." This EP has 10 songs — one new song mixed two different ways, and remixes of two songs from her first EP. However, this isn't your standard remix EP. This is more of exploration of how songs can be different by added new melodies and mixed-up beats. It's a poptastic voyage — one that you won't want to miss!

First off, how about that wonderful artwork by Nicolas Gérin! He also did the artwork for Annika's first EP. Both are absolutely brilliant!

The EP starts off with a glorious remake of Alcazar's hit "Crying At The Discoteque." Of course, Annikafiore was a member of Alcazar when that song was first recorded. You can read the history of Alcazar here. Annikafiore worked with producer Antti Vuorenniemi on this version of the track. He also produced and co-wrote all of the songs on her first EP. I love this track! After years of listening to the Alcazar version, it is nice to hear Annikafiore let loose and let her big voice be heard! My absolute favourite part of this song when Annikafiore hits a big note with "Let the music take you high!" Simply divine! If you are lucky enough to have seen Annikafiore live in Sweden, then you might have heard this version already. Recently, footage of Annikafiore performing this version with the Diamond Dogs drag queens has been added to YouTube, and it is brilliant!

As for the second version of "Crying At The Discoteque," Italian remixer Giuseppe Piol has taken Annikafiore's vocals and added it to music he made giving it a very beach chill vibe. Just listening to it, you can image yourself on a sunny beach with a piña colada in hand as a breeze brings along this tropical tune. Unlike Antti's version, the big high note is missing. Perhaps it didn't fit. No matter, it is fabulous! And Annikafiore performed this version at Andreas Lundstedt's surprise 40th birthday party. And halfway through the song, Andreas and Tess joined Annikafiore on stage to groove along until the end. It was the first time the original Alcazar lineup had been together in seven years. The healing power of music is wonderful.

Annikafiore's HUGE hit last year "Don't Wanna C U 2nite" appears in three versions here. I'll start off with the radio cut. Somehow this didn't get released last year when the SoundFactory mixes were released. When I found out there had been a shorter edit, I strongly encouraged Annikafiore to release it! While I love the original EP version, I always like to have single edits of songs. Somehow, I prefer pop songs under 4 minutes. Call me crazy, but I do. I'm glad it made it's way to this EP. It's nice to remember the magic of the song when we first heard it — just in a shorter form.

Piol has worked his magic again with his first remix of "Don't Wanna C U 2nite." It's very lounge disco and uplifting. Annikafiore has released a video for this version of the song that is absolutely breathtaking. The video was originally filmed by Antti last year for the single. However, the editing wasn't ready in time for the SoundFactory Remix release. Lucky for us because we got two videos! What I really like about this version of the song is when I listen to it, I feel hope as the lines repeat "We're gonna be all right." Very nice, indeed.

The last mix of "Don't Wanna C U 2nite" is Piol's piano mix. Just listening to it, you can imagine a cabaret show with Piol on the piano, a string section and Annikafiore all glammed up with feather boa and an old-fashioned microphone. This song comes at the end of the EP like it would be the last song of the cabaret club.

Next up are the mixes of "Love 2 Live." There are five mixes presented here! Three of them are by Johan Åberg. Although those three are just variations of each other as one is the club mix, another is the radio edit of the club mix, and then the last one is the instrumental version of the club mix. And a club mix it is! You can definitely feel the hi-nrg of these mixes and imagine yourself spinning around in the middle of a crowded dancefloor. No time for lollygagging ... this is fast! Spin around!

The last two mixes of "Love 2 Live" are from Piol. Again, Piol really shines with just how talented he is in capturing the right moods for Annikafiore's big vocals. First up is the funk mix. This is would fit in along perfectly alongside a Prince song. Not too fast, not too slow. Just right. It's light, playful and just feels fresh.

The next Piol mix is the Sos Remix. This is very heavy on the synthesizers and keyboards, and seems a bit more of a chill mix. It's very dreamy — space age, if you will. And it has a nice build up with the keyboards near the end.

Usually when you think of a remix album, you think the remixes are geared toward the dancefloor. And while there are definitely tracks here suited for that, Annikafiore proves there is much more she has to offer. These 10 tracks she offers up to fans to let them know how versatile her work can be.

"Recovered" was released on CDBaby.com as an exclusive because the store is extremely supportive of independent artists such as Annikafiore. It is now available on iTunes. If you feel like supporting an indie artist, you can buy from both! And give it to a friend.

This should keep fans waiting for the next EP. In the meantime, please continue to support Annikafiore by purchasing her music, promoting her to you friends, liking her official Facebook page, and visiting her official website.

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