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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 208

1.Rich Hard - Tell Me Why (Sunfire Records)
Some songs are just too hard to approach at first. Tell Me Why sounded fairly odd at the beginning, but giving it some more time was definitely worth it. The song is paving way for the new direction Futura has as a producer on Sunfire Records. The song features more pleasant vocals by Rich whose previous track Pirates on 196 worked like a charm, so I was happy to hear more of him. The song itself has some weird distortion going on... The sounds feel kind of unfinished and might be in need of more polishing, but I presume this is just a phase where the new producers get more acquinted with what they are familiar doing. The song itself has a very strong chorus that is basically what drew me in after some airplay. Although I would definitely wanted the verses to offer similar energy, yet sadly they kind of lack the power needed. My final verdict is that Tell Me Why is a good song, but it falls short on various areas, yet it also showcases that we're going the right way with Sunfire Records. I emphasize with the song for some reason a whole lot.
Rating : 9-

2.Laura Vox - Jungle Of Fire (HI-NRG Attack)
A female vocalist on HRG that is not pitched sky high, what's going on! Laura Vox definitely surprised me as I wasn't even originally thinking this was the same label that did stuff like Pun Pun Beam. This more mature approach to eurobeat feels very refreshing and also it helps having a good melody to work with. Jungle Of Fire does not quite change the fact that lyrics are your every day random ramblings as usual by HRG. It's amusing how the lyrics actually get more attention when sung by a not pitched vocalist and also the flaws are more visible. My main concern with this very presentation is that the few chimes and beats aside, it seems HRG completely ditched their original roots. While this very track worked out fine it's easy for them to stray away and produce songs in a similar fashion that might not live up to Jungle Of Fire's level. I do hope they give more vocal options to their women though as this song proves they can pull it off.
Rating : 9+

3.Fastway - Invisible Touch (SCP)
Sometimes you just try soooo hard to like a song, yet can't really feel the passion inside. Invisible Touch basically is a very familiar kind of a piece by our lovely Ennio. The chorus is catchy the sounds are energy packed, but it still feels as if there's something missing. The outer exterior seems to be intact, yet the content lost for some reason. Sometimes songs seem good on paper and in theory, but the final product just can't quite deliver the message, sadly Invisible Touch is one of those tracks. The production itself is solid, vocals work out fine and there are even some hooks, yet I can't make myself love the song...
Rating : 7

4.Stephy - Awake (Dima Music)
Unmemorable song is unmemorable. The title itself refers nicely to the style the track is, barely Awake. Everything about this song just feels a bit too laidback and calm. The verses and chorus have a very strong Norma Sheffield-feel to them and not quite in a very positive way. The production does not really offer much since the sound layers are barely noticable synth aside. A good slower ballad would need a very strong melody as the ground to build the rest on, Awake does not have that. But hey, if you do actually want to _not_ be awake, then this is your song. I shall have to test it out the next time insomnia comes my way.
Rating : 6

5.Corrado - Queen Of Heart (Delta)
Marko from the previous SEB returns under a different title. Queen Of Heart is a logical follow up to I Need A Revolution since the sounds and style are very very identical. Introducing Clara's backing vocals brings the track a lot of extra edge, yet they can't quite save the final result. There's something about the sounds used in this very song that keep making me feel kind of blue and apathetic. The melody does not quite feel strong enough to work with more mellow sounds, would have been interesting to hear this with a more upbeat production and energetic approach. Now it feels a bit too lazy. Also I can't exactly call the melody strong enough to stand out or remain memorable in the long run.
Rating : 6

6.David Dima - Crazy (Dima Music)
I can't quite express myself in a civil manner sometimes, Crazy just makes me a bit on the edge. Some songs for whatever reason can get on your nerves. This very track comes off as a very unimaginative piece that wouldn't quite work well even as a background music while doing other things. The intro, verses, chorus and well the whole package make me want to skip it right away. Annoyance, that's what this song is, obnoxious and repetitive. Wanting to skip the song after 10 seconds is what speaks for itself more than anything else. CRAYZAAAAHH urgh.
Rating : 5

7.Ciao Ciao - The Magic Of Sunshine (HI-NRG Attack)
After the 'revolutionary' performance by Laura Vox, Ciao Ciao relies more on good old HI-NRG Attack style. This is yet an another slower track which seems to be the only thing the label pushes out these days. If that is the future, then so be it, since these presentations work a whole lot better than the overly chaotic fast performances. The Magic Of Sunshine infuses really soothing extra elements into the production that give it a more modern feel. Sounds have a really bright mood to them, can just imagine this being perfect on a sunny spring morning. In the long run the track still uses the key elements pretty much constantly and with the song running for more than 6 minutes they lose some of the initial edge by the end. A nicely balanced song with a lot of extra imagination to spare.
Rating : 9-

8.Francis Cooper - Pretty Woman (HI-NRG Attack)
So more slow HI-NRG Attack, who would have guessed? This album seems to repeat what 206 did as they have somehow managed to draw in 3 effective tracks by HRG. Pretty Woman sounds really easily approachable and it's actually quite close to more common european pop music. The vocal section is something that could use some more work, but this would work fine on a compilation with other dance tracks. Hearing a beautiful love anthem by this label is not too frequent, so definitely gotta savor this moment. Might be a while until they repeat another one with as much quality.
Rating : 9+

9.Radiorama - Never Gonna Make (Asia / Saifam)
Long gone are the days when titles like Radiorama had some meaning to them. The previous entry on 205 was a fairly positive track, yet this time they dropped the ball again. Never Gonna Make sounds excessively annoying with the weirdest sounds that make me cringe my teeth constantly. Vocals provide very little comfort since they sound completely forced. Singing with a gun pointed at their head rarely produces very good material. A boring song with a boring sound with a boring title. Please, never make something similar again Saifam, nee?
Rating : 5

10.Orlando - Memories Of You (Asia / Saifam)
If I could, I would, but I can't. What applied to the previous entry, also applies here to some extent in a reverse fashion. There are many redeeming qualities in this piece that make it an enjoyable song to breeze through. Hearing more male vocalists from Asia is definitely a refreshing change plus this current one actually comes sounding deep and original. With the very effective verses it's a shame the chorus can't pull of a similar show in the long run. Very simple sounds actually end up making this song meaningful, since it feels like a poetic expression for a long lost love. A beautiful song which could have used a more memorable chorus to go along with the otherwise effective structure.
Rating : 8

11.Vivi - Eyes Of Sky (SCP)
Describing the SCP women's style with an airy feel to them has never been more appropriate. Eyes Of Sky is a very very light piece that makes you think of fluffy clouds and a serene slumberland. Initially the song sounded quite masterful and addictive, but time quickly ate up its edges. Without a really strong melodic base, it's hard to really come up with a longlasting piece. Now there are moments when the track sounds really fun, yet the vast majority of time is quite easily forgettable. I do like the vocal performance though, so what's after loving doggies and skies?
Rating : 7
 
12.Dream Fighters - Mind Game (Dima Music)
I often wonder about the things that inspire writes to write the pieces they do. Mind Game sort of makes me think of a cinematic Hollywood setting. The tune seems fitting for a movie like Vanilla Sky or such, the mood just reeks of carefully considered eeriness. Melody and structure is fairly okay with this song, but it can't actually throw in all of the necessary hooks to reel in the prey. Now it comes off as a catchy song you can listen to in the car, but try repeating this for 5 times in a row and still find it exciting, I think not.
Rating : 7

13.TRF - Ez Do Dance (Morris Capaldi Vs. TRF Remix) (Avex / Delta)
Ez Do Dance is one of the tracks I can forever remember as the masterful cover by Time. It's honestly hard to make up for that even with this remix that's definitely from the better end we've heard during this decade. The original song is catchy and easily memorable, so technically it's not complex to make a remix that'd function as well. The remix sounds closer to some of the material on Hyper Techno albums, but that's not a negative feature by any means. A fun lil' remix, that still is overshadowed by an even better cover done in the 90s.
Rating : 8

14.Nagisa - Melody (Ballade Mix) (Avex)
More calm material, what a surprise. I loved the faster version of Melody a whole lot when I heard it initially, so I was quite surprised to not even recognize this as the same title. The ballad version does completely turn it into something different, but can't exactly call it a good change again. A very serene song with some beautiful vocal work by Nagisa, but it still falls short of a hit on any level. Needs more beat and energy.
Rating : 6

Final Words :
This album came off as a rather entertaining package at first, but sadly it lost a lot of its edge after a while. Many of the songs I liked initially degraded over time and became quite a sad performance in the end. I was really happy hearing the new direction of Sunfire Records and actually ended up enjoying Rich Hard's song the most out of the whole album, even with it's shortcomings. HI-NRG Attack are really putting a strong front currently with their new style, so I have to give them credit after all the negativity they've received in the past. SCP and Dima Music stumbled a bit with their titles, but I'm hopeful that there's better material incoming in the future. I just hope they don't become too stellar with this new direction. 208 can't definitely live up to the previous few albums that work fine months after their release. Here's to hoping that the next album is gonna be even better and maybe top the others during the 200 decade.

Final Score : 6

The Best 3 songs

- Rich Hard - Tell Me Why
- Laura Vox - Jungle Of Fire
- Francis Cooper - Pretty Woman


The Worst 3 Songs

- David Dima - Crazy
- Nagisa - Melody (Ballade Mix)
- Radiorama - Never Gonna Make


Honorable Mention

- Sunfire Records, hope this direction keeps going stellar and we'll be treated to more magnificent material. Maybe some Matt Land.

Labels present on the album:


Avex: 2
Delta
: 1 (2)
Dima Music: 3
HI-NRG Attack: 3
Saifam: 2
SCP: 2
Sunfire Records: 1

Reviewed by Bore