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Going out Tonight
UK Expansion, 2008

1) Naughty Girl 2) Pullin' Me Back 3) Make Me Yours 4) Lift You Up 5) Damn Beautiful 6) Leave Me 7) Closer 8) Walk Away 9) Everything Ainít Everything 10) Pride 11) Get Up on the Floor 12) Going on the Tonight 13) Musiq 14) Give Me My Love 15) Itís Too Late

Many of the recent retro-soul releases seem to revise the sounds of the í60s or early í70s, but the Danish-German collective Cool Million have set their clocks back to the middle of the Reagan era.

The two masterminds behind the project are Frank Ryle, a Danish soul aficionado and editor of the web site, and Rob Hardt, a German musician who has remixed such household names as Chaka Khan and Keith Sweat and produced Donald McCollumís solid debut album U Donít Want My Love in 2006. Incidentally, McCollum appears here as a vocalist on the Somebody Elseís GuyĖinspired feel-good number Get Up on the Floor.

As the title suggests, the album mainly contains melodic, club-friendly uptempo cuts. None of them is a total dud, but I canít say thereís much variety between them. The slow groove of Everything Ainít Everything offers a welcome change of pace.

Ironically, for me the standout cuts are those which are unashamedly based on eighties hits. Pride uses Hangin' on a String by Loose Ends and No Oneís Gonna Love You by The S.O.S. Band, Walk Away is built on Intimate Connection by Kleeer, and Damn Beautiful seems to rework Mtumeís Juicy Fruit or C.O.D. The vocal performances (courtesy of Aaron Washington, Eleana Young and Laura Jackson) are, as they are throughout the album, adequate if not particularly stirring.

The CD closes with its only straighforward cover version, a take on Carolyn Kingís í70s pop classic Itís Too Late, this time set to a synth-bass that reminds me of Fatbackís Spread Love.

As a whole, the album is well done and entertaining, and heartily recommended if you wish to take a trip back to 1984.
-Kimmo Heikkinen

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