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Saturday 10 October 2009

Album review: Cascada's 'Evacuate the Dancefloor'

Posted in: Music
By Andrew Grear - 22nd September 2009

Here it is, the third album by German trio Cascada. And how ironic that they name it Evacuate the Dancefloor - as it exists for the almost sole purpose of filling it!

It's actually a little surprising that the group - consisting of vocalist Natalie Horler, and producers DJ Manian and Yonou - has gotten this far. Their career rests mostly on a couple of well-known songs that are addictive and sure-fire dancefloor fillers; but aren't going to go down in history for anything more than being disposable euro-dance fluff.

The album opens with the lead single and title track that has been fairly in-escapable over recent weeks and also provided the group with their first UK chart topper (and denied Michael Jackson a posthumous number 1). It's a bit of a departure from their previous sound; a little less dance, a little more pop, a little more taking a leaf out of Lady Gaga's big book of insta-hits (but who isn't doing that these days?). This departure continues on the second track Hold On, which starts out as a breezy acoustic guitar driven pop song…this lasts for a grand total of 30 seconds before the heavy dance beat kicks in and it's like you're back listening to their first album again.

Cascada's Natalie Horler
Following this, it's effectively a rinse and repeat formula for the rest of the album. A song starts out with a light pop intro and Horler's capable (but not particularly noteworthy) vocals; but between thirty and sixty seconds into the song, the thumping beat kicks in and you're away. There are only a scant couple of variations to this. Hold Your Hands Up is a mid-tempo affair that sounds like a remnant of an Atomic Kitten album. Breathless is a shameless rip-off of Kelly Clarkson's brand of pop-rock, without her charisma and talent to properly pull it off. The album closes with Draw The Line, a piano-ballad the likes of which turns up on every album Yanou has a hand in.

All this is not to say that there aren't some good moments on the album. The title track is fantastic with a killer chorus and vocal hook. Ready or Not is a true floor-filler that's quite closely related to their breakthrough hit Everytime We Touch (no complaints here, both are great). Fever is another radio-ready potential hit; it's the one track where Horler's vocals actually deserve some praise and stand out from the production a little. Second single Dangerous has the same hallmarks as Ready or Not and is catchy, but nowhere near as good.

Cascada exist for a single purpose: to create those stomping dance tunes that get you out on the floor. Ultimately they are like the musical equivalent of a bottle of Coke - you listen to them, you like them, but you know it's really nothing but crap. Evacuate the Dancefloor is an OK album with some good moments on it, but the euro-dance beats get old quickly, and the other tracks leave you scratching your head wondering what they were thinking. Thank goodness for being able to download individual tracks off iTunes.

On the video below: Cascada's Evacuate the Dancefloor




Andrew Grear - 22nd September 2009

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