Today’s POP RESCUE is the 2001 debut album ‘Toca’ by German band Fragma.
1999-2001 was a great time for europop and its welcome little sibling, trance. Riding the wave of this were Fragma (amongst others), and they rode it well.
Toca’s Miracle became a hit in 2000, but it was Toca Me (the album closer) that launched Fragma in 1999. Toca’s Miracle remains their biggest – reaching number one and selling more than 500,000 copies in the UK. Essentially it was a mash-up of Toca Me and Coco Star’s 1996 track I Need A Miracle.
This album, which I heard for the first time earlier this year, just seems to retain its energy. It’s a balanced journey through some great vocal/synth companionships with dance beats.
The album begins with the big hit Toca’s Miracle and this is the perfect start. It is swiftly followed by third single Everytime You Need Me with vocalist Maria Rubia.
Then we’re into unchartered waters with Reach Out, but it’s equally as good.
You Are Alive (their fourth and final single from this album) is the fourth track, and it helps carry you through perfectly. Move On echoes the sounds of York‘s 2000 hit On The Beach.
Track Do You Really Want To Feel It could easily be a Pet Shop Boys track. It takes a while for the first vocals to appear, but when they do, imagine Neil Tennant singing them. It would definitely work (Fragma: if you’re reading this, just give me a ‘nod’ in the credits once you’ve made it).
Magic puts in a pretty decent effort, followed by Everybody Knows, which is possibly the weakest track on the album – musically and lyrically. Even instrumental Outlast beats it.
The album ends at the beginning for Fragma, with Toca Me.
Some successful pop/dance artists seemed to stumbled with how to suddenly make an album when you were only having a little idea for a single. Musically the album follows the same kind of style that the singles brought, but it seems that Fragma had plans to do an album, as it offers properly crafted full songs rather than a few hit singles padded with a load of near clones and fillers.
It’s been 13 years since the release of Toca, and I think time has been kind to it. Best played during summer, and loud.
where are fragma now?
Fragma are still going. Their vocalist line-up has changed a few times, and this has seemingly caused them a few legal headaches along the way. Toca’s Miracle has been re-released repeatedly, with different vocalists and mixes, and this even makes it hard to find the original video on YouTube.
POP RESCUE 2014 RATING: 4 / 5
UK CHART 2001 POSITION: #19
POP RESCUE COST: £1.99 (from a That’s Entertainment store).