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The albums have been graded on the most common grading system used in Finnish schools. Where 4 is the worst, and 10 is the best. The final score for the album is most of the times the average for all of the tracks, though it can also change if the reviewer wishes so. The Super Eurobeat Non-Stop albums will be reviewed as full collections, and the individual songs won't be reviewed, unless they are completely new. Though Euromach and JGTC albums for example will have complete song by song reviews.
The grading system simply goes as ie. 4- (3,75), 4 (4), 4+ (4,25) and 4 (4,5) and the next one again would be 5-. A simple system we have over here in Finland.

  Super Eurobeat 204

1.Jager - I Won't Fall Apart (SCP)
Placing a newcomer artist as an album opener is a good sign of trust from Avex. Jager joins the ranks of SCP's male vocalists with the right attitude. Obviously choosing I Won't Fall Apart as the debut track for Jager has been thought through since there's hardly much to complain with this entry. Jager's vocals are strong yet they have a boyish tone to them, which makes his sound easily approachable and distinctively different from per say Fastway and Ace. In eurobeat a break up is often handled with melancholic tones and sorrow, but this time Jager is stronger and is standing with his head up high. The lyrics are strong and definitely above the typical silliness often associated with eurobeat. I Won't Fall Apart is nicely upbeat and positive for a male track, without being one bit girly at the same time, a rather perfect example of how to introduce new vocalists into the mix. A definite album highlight.
Rating : 10

2.Stella - Forever Fly (SCP)
After the perky debut by Stella I was sort of hoping for more upbeat material, but instead we are treated to some more dreamy and aesthetic eurobeat. The song has a fairly thin layer of sounds all around, which makes it really lack the punch the song could have had. Now the guitars, synths and bass just build up a foundation that really puts the vocals in the spotlight. All of this could still be okay, but the problem is that Stella can't quite handle such a song without faltering. The song is definitely not a complete waste, but it really does lack more feeling in it. The song sort of gives me this image of a sunny summer day on the beach, when you just have no energy for anything what so ever. And the energy is what this song should have been injected with a bit more quite frankly.
Rating : 7

3.Powerful T. - Face The Race (A-Beat C)
After the mouselike performance we're taken to the exact opposite end of the ring. Roberto is back with more of the same old good energy. Face The Race is Powerful T. in every single way: strong vocals, fast beats and a thick synth to kick off with. Guitars are naturally present when a Powerful T. track is discussed, but this time they are left out of the limelight, which works surprisingly well. Using electric guitar as an extra spice instead of filling the whole track with it makes the few bits with guitars really stand out for the best. As far as memorable eurobeat goes, sadly Face The Race is not quite up to par there. The track is good in small bits, but it just can't endure heavy airplay. Maybe the title could use a bit of extra flavor in it, try out some female vocals and make a duet and see how that works out.
Rating : 7

4.Lolita - Good Love & Mystery (Go Go's Music)
My relationship with Good Love & Mystery has been quite a rollercoaster ride. Initially I fell in love with the constant changes in pitch and excellent sounds, then I sort of got bored with the lack of energy in the verses but ultimately I grew to love the song in the end. Elena's vocals are as chirpy and bubbly as ever, which is basically the main ingredient to build the rest of the song on. The track has a few flaws that definitely could have been worked around such as the unimaginative background bass that does not offer any variety at all or the verses that just lack the enthusiasm I've gotten used to hearing from Lolita. These flaws aside the track really does sound like a real Lolita track: The chorus is upbeat with very catchy lyrics. Whether you like Elena G.'s vocals or not pretty much determines how this track is enjoyed, but for this current individual there could not be a better performer around.
Rating : 9

5.Manuel - All Is Magic (Dima Music)
There's just something about Manuel and him trying his wings under all of these different record labels. Can definitely see that he has talent and an impressive vocal range that makes his tracks enjoyable, but all these changes and different producers occasionally just can't do justice for his voice. All Is Magic is quite an amusing individual truthfully. The intro in it's quirkiness is a great start, plus the way the energy is built slowly in the first 45 seconds sounds great, then the pancake just falls flat all around. The verses sound dull and completely uninspirational and the chorus does even worse. While Manuel brings out his best game, the track just doesn't have any bits that'd really let him lose and show that magnificent screeching he is capable of. A pity, since I was expecting for fireworks, instead we got wet explosives without a fuse.
Rating : 6

6.Mela - Sandy (Asia/Saifam)
The other day I was browsing through Saifam's catalogue and I was reminded how magnificent material they have done in the past, then why the hell do we get stuff like Sandy on SEB? Even in popular music where repetition and simplicity is valued, you can't just expect to yield good results by making a 10 second 'melody' and then repeat it for 5 minutes. The track quite truthfully has no variety what so ever. The c-melody is one of the most uninspirational ones I have heard in a while, plus the vocals are A) lifeless and B) Very monotonic. Could have use some more key changes and maybe some enthusiasm... Quite a pitiful performance, I know The Factory Team is capable of so much better.
Rating : 5

7.Danny Rock - Rainbow (Asia/Saifam)
Following Sandy, it's quite easy to improve, although we're still moving on questionable ground. Rainbow is not a half bad attempt at repeating what Disco Energy did years back. The mood feels familiar plus the track sort of has a similar way to build all of its energy slowly then unleashing it in the chorus. I like how the song structure has been built, but the thin layers of sounds and slightly irritating synth quickly eat up the energy the vocals offer. The track definitely has a good base to go with, but unfortunately it only comes halfway due to the sounds that could use more originality. Plus points though to the guitars that manage to bring some energy back, just to have it drained by the synth after. To me it feels as if there was a constant battle of good vs. evil going on, where ultimately you're left on a truce. A song that has potential, but sadly can't quite deliver the goods.
Rating : 7

8.Cindy - Squeeze Me (HI-NRG Attack)
When HI-NRG Attack is discussed I have to be amazed at the picks Avex occasionally does. Squeeze Me has practically no traces left of the energy and sheer brilliance the label is capable of presenting. The vocals are hardly worth mentioning, plus the song structure just feels depressing. I'm not honestly sure whether I have grown past the label's style or have their productions just slowly gotten more boring. If I try to think back to the songs I have loved, I have to go quite far back which is sad. There have been great examples of originality and action in forms of Bomba or I'm Your Barracuda, but this track has absolutely nothing in comparison. A dull song that just craves to be skipped.
Rating : 5

9.Paul Harris - Bang Bang (Delta)
I would have wanted this song to be as explosive as the title indicates, but instead I got something so much different. This song feels like a direct sequel to Mira La Luna, somehow the vocals, sounds and athmosphere just feel similar. It's sort of like Mira La Luna had a bastard song with Chemical Love, only thing missing is Clara's backing vocals. The track works very efficiently at first, but time does not really treat it with silk gloves. The initial energy and catchiness slowly turns into repetition which does sadly weaken the magic. A very good example of how eurobeat works out well in it's basic form, but it does not quite do things as well as its' predecesors did.
Rating : 8-

10.Melissa White - Promised Discoland (SCP)
Sometimes songs just take you by surprise, you know, they end up being exactly the opposite of what you expect? Throughout the years I have grown to accept the fact that Melissa delivers the kind of feel good eurobeat I love, then you get trout slapped by Promised Discoland. The track has the word 'Disco' in the title which should have triggered the alarms in my head right away, sadly it did not. I was expecting for an upbeat track with solid vocals, instead I got a track that just makes me cringe my teeth. For some reason this time around everything in this work works against me: the vocals are irritating, sounds have that faint disco-esque mood that I would be better off with and to top that off the melody just sounds like one of those annoying video game boss fights you had to repeat a million times before you finally manage to beat it. One could imagine that the nerd in me would be happy with that, but no, that boss fight was just infuriating.
Rating : 6

11.Joe Banana - Cataclysm Night (HI-NRG Attack)
The second HRG performance definitely shows signs of revival. The track is actually quite enjoyable and the sounds as basic as they are, work fine with the cataclysmic theme of the track. The screams and shouts give a nice extra spice for the song, but the main vocals are sadly a different deal. The sad part is that while I am not a professional of vocal work, but to my ear it just sounds like there's hardly any actual singing here. The key changes feel off and it seems as if he is barely managing to let out the right sounds at multiple points, which just makes me want to face palm. So to sum things up. The track sounds fun and has a nicely different theme, but the vocals just spoil things sadly. Would be fun to hear Federico sing this instead of Roberto, but I doubt that'll happen. As the track is, I have to avoid it due to the high amount of face-palming it gives me.
Rating : 7+

12.M.O.V. Feat. Frankie - Heat Me Up (Delta)
When I originally got 204 my ears were pretty keen to hear this track and boy did I love it. But now, boy do I feel betrayed. A fast song with masculine vocals, usually a great treat from Delta. These days when I review albums months after their release I've noticed that my initial reactions to eurobeat change very strongly. I initially loved the way the strong structure here worked; using both male and female vocals sounds nice, but eventually it turned to boredom. The sounds are efficient and definitely don't have complaints with the structure itself, but after a bit of airplay the magic is just lost. A few renews here and there could patch the track up, but now I can't quite give it the grade I would hope to. I like the song, but also feel it just doesn't have enough merits to earn a high grade in the long run.
Rating : 7

13.MAX - Tora Tora Tora (2010 Year Of The Tiger Remix) (Avex)
I can't take away the importance Tora Tora Tora has had on the evolution of eurobeat, but all these remakes and remixes feel slightly pointless. I can right away say that I haven't followed the J-euro scene well enough to know whether MAX are still actually working on any of the material they did initially (or if they are still even active), but this remix just sounds completely hollow and miles away from the track on MAXIMUM. The nostalgy and primitive 90's sounds did this track more justice than the more modern facelift it currently. Some songs just need to be left alone, let them age with dignity. This did make me want to listen to Give Me A Shake though, which still sounds absolutely magnificent, maybe give that a revisit.
Rating : 6-

14.Ace - Don't Stop The Dance (Vintage 2001 Deluxe Version) (SCP)
I do have to admit I would never ever even in my wildest dreams have had expected that such a violation could have been done to Don't Stop The Dance. The original version on Euromach was pure of energy and sheer joy for life, this is not even on the same planet. I understand the fact that these remixes at the end of the albums are here to showcase what else can be made out of eurobeat, but I am definitely not impressed nor enjoying this one. The slight jazzy influences with acoustic elements and slowed down beats might work in a very specific situation and mindset, but most of the time I do want my eurobeat as upbeat and catchy, this is neither of those. Yet I do have to admit that it's an impressively different presentation, though not my cup of tea.
Rating : 6

Final Words :
The problem with albums like 204 is that they don't actually encourage you to do a review, but I felt I was entitled to do so either way. The album really showcases the weaker points of the eurobeat world in its current form. The songs are variable to certain degree, but there's just a lack of imagination and inspiration for the most part. Jager provides this album's only real direct hit and Lolita offers more love for the world, but the rest of the album just can't provide much thrills. While there aren't exactly a lot of absolutely horrible tracks, the vast majority of the material just leaves you feeling empty. As if your memory got erased about what you just heard. While this album isn't exactly as horrible as some of the ones we've heard throughout Super Eurobeat history, it still comes close to the worse ones out there.

Final Score : 6

The Best 3 songs

- Jager - I Won't Fall Apart
- Lolita - Good Love & Mystery
- Paul Harris - Bang Bang


The Worst 3 Songs

- Mela - Sandy
- Cindy - Squeeze Me
- MAX - Tora Tora Tora (2010 Year Of The Tiger Remix)


Honorable Mention

- Nada, not much to speak of

Labels present on the album:


A-Beat C: 1
Avex: 1
Delta
: 2
Dima Music: 1
Go Go's Music: 1
HI-NRG Attack: 2
Saifam: 2
SCP: 4

Reviewed by Bore