Review: “Who Needs Guitars Anyway?” by Alice DeeJay (CD, 2000)

Today’s POP RESCUE from an uncertain future is the 2000 debut CD album by Dutch group Alice Deejay, called Who Needs Guitars Anyway?. Does this album strum the right note with you, or is it all just broken strings? Read on…

Alice Deejay - Who Needs Guitars Anyway? album 2000
Alice Deejay’s 2000 album ‘Who Needs Guitars Anyway?’

Who needs them indeed – not Alice Deejay – that’s for sure!

This is certainly a europop/dance album that unashamedly relies on vocals, a computer, and a synth. DJ Jurgen was behind this.

It’s a formula that Alice Deejay have mastered, and have definitely run with as the songs are quite formulaic. What could you possibly dislike about that combination?

Cue the 5 singles. Starting with Better Off Alone, through Back In My LifeWill I EverThe Lonely One, and Celebrate Our Love (which I don’t remember).

It’s easy to see that Alice Deejay preceded acts like Basshunter. That hard beat is there, but the latter managed to take it further. And it’s clear to see that Alice Deejay’s contemporaries were the likes of fellow countrymen Vengaboys, and Belgian group Lasgo – as they all compete for bouncy, bleepy, pumping, europop, accompanied by exotic looking videos drowing in sunshine.

This was my first ever listening to this album, although I’m very familiar with the singles that it spawned – having spent many hours dancing like a fiend to them in various dark and dubious clubs.

With 14 tracks in all, of which 9 weren’t singles, it’s interesting to see just how original their sound can be – and whilst it doesn’t stray from the style you hear in the singles, there are some tracks that are inevitably weaker than others. FairytalesGot To Get Away, the dubiously titled Everything Starts With An E, and the fairly lyrically dull (but musically nice) eponymous song Alice DeeJay are probably my least favourite here. Fortunately they’re consecutive and at the end of the album. If it had stopped short at a 10 or 11 track album, then I’d be hard pushed to find anything wrong with it.

Alice Deejay’s debut single ‘Better Off Alone’

Verdict

I often wonder whether big dance tracks with repetitive lyrics and synth hooks will turn up in years to come, being played by singer songwriters at acoustic gigs. I guess not. And it may be that which means that unless re-releases, samples, and attempts at comebacks occur, then this great sound will die.

I’m pleased to say however, that it stands up pretty well at 14yrs old. Sure, this kind of music doesn’t threaten what’s left of the pop charts any more, but it has enough roots that reach into dance and remixes, that it doesn’t feel too out of place.

It’s stacked full of dance music, and catchy hits.

Rated 4 stars - You're missing a treat!
  • POP RESCUE 2014 RATING: 4 / 5
  • 2000 UK ALBUM CHART POSITION: #8, certified Gild by the BPI
  • POP RESCUE COST: £1 from a Poundland store.

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