Today’s POP RESCUE from an uncertain fate, is the 1991 third album Body To Body by Technotronic. Will this album Work well, or should you Move That Body quickly to switch it off? Read on…
This 11 track CD opens with lead single Move That Body, which instantly throws you into some familiar sounds of earlier hits. There’s quite a strong vocal feel of Neneh Cherry from vocalist Reggie (Réjane Magloire), and she even gives a lyrical nod to Cherry’s Buffalo Stance too. Reggie does a phenomenal job rapping with some wonderful command. A thick bass synth floods the backing, along with occasional lighter synths over a dance beat. There’s a momentary descending synth-string line that reminds me briefly of Yazz’s Stand Up For Your Love Rights. ‘Push your butt in, stick your butt out‘ – Reggie raps and with all this moving, it’s making me sweat just listening to her. The album is off to an energetic start, even if it’s not quite as catchy as earlier hits.
Next up is second and final single Work, and this track is another fairly light dance track. Vocally it reminds me again a bit of Neneh Cherry but with bonus Betty Boo vibes, with some thrown in ‘Ooh-ooh‘ hands up in the air vocals. Again, we’re reminded to ‘stick your butt out and get ready‘ and ‘shake your money-maker‘ and I begin to feel like I’m on track two of an unintentional Zumba session. The track meanders along somewhat though, not really finding a route, and doesn’t really develop as the track moves along. The track stalled at #40 in the UK singles chart.
That’s followed by Release Yourself, and this seems to lead us closer to dance-pop, with Reggie ditching the rap. There’s some nice funky wah-wah from electric guitars in the chorus, as the track races along. Musically, the track feels quite fast but minimal.
Cold Chillin’ is next, and a wonderfully swaggering bass sits alongside a drum kit and then Riv takes the mic to rap about how he’s cruising around in his car looking for girls. Reggie literally takes a back seat on the vocals here, as Riv leads and even does some mouth-trumpet. There are strong echoes of Tone Lōc’s Funky Cold Medina in this track, but it isn’t as catchy, and I struggle to imagine why it’s here.
Following that is Voices, which is as it says – voices. These are all mish-mash of sampled voices over a 90’s eurodance track that probably made a younger 2 Unlimited drool with excitement, but it sounds quite dated and doesn’t really bring much to the table.
Money Makes The World Go Round follows that, and thankfully Reggie is back on the microphone, delivering some more Neneh/Betty vibes. There’s some nice vocal harmonies here in the verse and the chorus – lifting for the chorus to make it feel somewhat catchy. I could imagine this track as the album’s third single, and it did get a release, but it failed to chart in the UK.
Then it’s Gimmie The One, and this gives us more Reggie on the mic, and the track is quite a catchy little track. This allows her to both sing and rap too over a nice bright synth-brass section and fast hi-hat dance beat. Whilst not as strong as some of the other tracks here, it’s on the higher side.
Yeh-Yeah is next, and as with Voices, this track is instrumental except for some random sampled voices and dance beats. Perhaps this felt radical and exciting in 1991, but now it’s more yeah-yeah whatever.
Titular track Body To Body follows this and Riv is back on the mic. Some record scratching, and very fast beats provides a great foundation for him to rap from. He works here, when he’s rapping at speed, rather than talking sleazy from his car. The track really belts out, and I’m left thinking that this is another natural natural bridge from Technotronic to 2 Unlimited.
Get It Started is weirdly the penultimate track rather than the first, but reassuringly, there’s some very strong Pump Up The Jam vibes here thanks to a bouncy synth. Again, we’re instructed by Reggie to get our butt moving. The track flows effortlessly, with some synths flittering in and out over this simple catchy track. Reggie’s vocals work a treat here, and it’s just enough Technotronic of old, to make the connection.
The album closes with Bogaert’s Breakfast, with the Bogaert in question being one of the producers. It’s another instrumental track, but this one actually has a nice beat, and a sort of robotic synth line that’s quite catchy. It pumps some energy within it, and evolves quite nicely.
Over all, this album is a mixed back and somewhat meandering. This doesn’t help with a group that saw such huge success with the singles from their first album, and a support act role on Madonna’s Blonde Ambition tour.
There are some strong points here, namely Move That Body, Money Makes The World Go Round, and Get It Started, but they don’t capture the same energy, style, and catchiness of the group’s previous hits. The vocal-less tracks Voices and Yeh-Yeah, and Cold Chillin’ are the low points, and really shouldn’t have made the cut.
With Reggie on the mic, we’re treated to a warm and nice vocal sound whether she’s singing or rapping, but sadly, whilst her vocal skills are strong, her songwriter skills lack a little, and deny us of some fully-fledged or catchy songs resulting in a Technotronic follow-up album lacking in the hit quota. Riv’s rapping work, but his sleazy Tone Loc pastiche does not.
With some extra songwriter skills, and more Reggie vocals, it would have stopped it being mostly just Boring To Boring.
- POP RESCUE 2022 RATING: 3 / 5
- 1991 UK ALBUM CHART PEAK: #27
- POP RESCUE COST: £2.27 from an eBay seller.