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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 217

1.Ken Blast - The Top (Delta)
Travis has been given the honor to open up a new SEB this time around, and with such class. After the previous semi lackluster track The Top takes us directly to where the title promises. The song features a neat synth that strikes out as something unique, yet perfectly fitting for an eurobeat song. I can't help getting Norm Schiavone flashbacks from the way the synth sounds just a bit more finepolished. Melodically the song is quite strong as the different parts of the track stream together perfectly and give enough room for eachother without one taking the limelight. Vocalwise Travis is packing quite a powerful punch, yet I can't exactly symphatize with the spoken parts that feel like the extra filling I did not order. Quality wise the song falls quite perfectly between When The Sun Goes Down and New Horizon. Not quite as finetuned as the debut was (where's Newfield when you need him!) nor as unpolished as New Horizon. The Top is a good album opener showcasing there's more to come from Travis and that he is no one-hit wonder.
Rating : 9

2.Roberta - Rock My Heart (SinclaireStyle)
After Sinclaire manage to take me by surprise with No Turning Back, I secretly started hoping for more material up my alley, and whatdayaknow! He actually provided. Rock My Heart is a solid production showing the signs I've been longing to hear for a long time. A song that is every bit as strong and rich in sounds as the male tracks have generically been on SinclaireStyle. There are no signs of hollow metallic synths nor lack of imagination in the production which pleases me trumendously. What is delightful about the production is that while the chorus is the clear highlight of the song, also the verses sound really catchy and flow just perfectly. I do have to wonder about the need to create new aliases though, SinclaireStyle is still quite a small scale label so for consistency's sake it'd be better to stick with a handful of titles instead of hoarding more and more, this song could've just as well been under Tora, right? A solid song with plenty of eurobeat goodnes to go around.
Rating : 9

3.Sally - Feel The Magic (Dima Music)
Occasionally I do ponder about the course of action the labels use to create new titles. Titlewise there are good and bad options available, now Sally is definitely not from the better end. A name so generic with no special appeal at all is definitely not gonna draw any kind of hits for Dima Music. Even if the title is derived from an actual vocalist's name some imagination could have been used. Feel The Magic brings forth a seemingly new vocalist who happens to sound quite weak and after a bit of exploration turns out as Sara, but what has the label done to the previously strong vocals! The production masks the vocals so strongly it takes a bit of practice to figure out if there's actual skill under all the make-up. The usage of auto-tune really distorts the vocals a bit too much, which in turn makes the track slightly uncomfortable to listen to. If the vocals aren't exactly what this track gets credit for, the melody tries to patch up a lot of the problems. Verses sound quite pleasant on paper with a positive athmosphere, chorus in conjuction flows quite steadily but it could use some extra firepower. As a whole the song isn't entirely rotten, but it just suffers too much from the lack of powerful vocal presentation, which leaves it in the shadows. Quite the contrast after 215...
Rating : 7-

4.Hotblade - Disconnected (SCP)
For me, there's no doubt about the current situation in the eurobeat world.... SCP have been the sole label to provide hit after hit on the past SEBs and everytime I feel they've topped themselves, they come out with something even better. Hotblade has stolen the spotlight from the label's older stars and he is definitely not giving it up without a fight. Disconnected delivers such a strong message, I have my doubts there'll be people who really would have a hard time liking the song (well for any other reason than just being the outcast). This time around though the hype is definitely in place as the song is produced to perfection with an excellent structure from the very first moment all the way to the end. As a vocalist Hotblade seems to advance further and further with every song as he clearly is letting his spirit out more and more. The peculiar part about the song is that it strongly reminds me of the early Nick Mansell songs both in style and production. There are a lot of moments that sound like they would've been borrowed from an older song, but they've been sewn so seamlessly together it creates the perfect patchwork quilt.
Rating : 10+++

5.Lou Master - Up & Dance, Up & Go (SCP)
SCP seem to be taking their work with the right attitude. Music is all about introducing new and inventful ways to please the fans, and what better way is there than to bringing forth even more new vocalists. For me the title is a direct bowdown to the eurobeat legend Gino Caria. Up & Dance, Up & Go sounds quite typical to the current SCP trend with a strong infusion of classic eurobeat and more global dance-elements. Vocalwise the newcomer has still some work to do, as the vocals sound slightly monotonic as if he was holding himself back a bit. While the song itself is pretty nicely balanced it seems to lack a bit of finalization, or maybe it's just that it doesn't quite provide as much energy as I would've hoped. Up & Dance, Up & Go is a good song, no doubt about it, but it pales in comparison to the previous presentation from big brother Hotblade.
Rating : 8+

6.Tipsy & Tipsy - Dance Boom Boom (Asia/Saifam)
Sometimes you just don't know what to expect from a song. The previews that the Saifam Store had for this song didn't definitely showcase the song in a clear light. The mixture of basic Saifam fitness dance and eurobeat is quite peculiar as the song feels like it'd feature two completely different parts. The chorus and the female vocals really sound fitting for an eurobeat song, but the reggea-esque male rapping stands out so strongly as if taken from a different track. My initial reactions were quite conflicted, but the more I listened to Dance Boom Boom, the more I ended up enjoying it. The chorus is absolutely magnificent with nice usage of sounds and good vocalwork. While the verses and rapping stand out at first, with a bit of repetition they start to fit in just nicely. I'm quite certain that not a lot of people will agree me with this, but I consider this to be the culmination of the recent releases from Saifam. A great song with plenty to offer for dancemusic fans. Plus it makes me feel positive every time I listen to it, can't be all bad!
Rating : 9+

7.Nikita Jr. - Touch Me (HI-NRG Attack)
I know I'm often pointing out flaws and problems in certain productions, so it's refreshing every once in a while to do the opposite. Nikita Jr. as a title has been one of my favorites from HRG, so it's refreshing to hear the label push forward an imaginative song with an entirely new sound. Touch Me sounds like a cross-breed between the upbeat and energetic Nikita of Dancing In The Jungle and the more mellow and slow Michelle of Hard To Say I'm Sorry. From a production perspective the song sounds a tad schizophrenic. At one point the positive side is trying to push out from under the mature stature, yet it always keeps on getting suppressed. This mixture of emotions makes Touch Me sound really unique, yet conflicted at the same time. The sounds really present some excellent lil' tricks that make the tune feel fresh and different from the standard. A good song that could've used a bit more meat around the bones to give it that extra appeal, but I'll definitely be coming back for more of this.
Rating : 8

8.Dave & Futura - Sun Fire (Sunfire Records)
An intro can take away so much power from a song, is it just me who thinks it's one of Dave's biggest flaws? He tries hard to produce these meaningful and productive intros for a simple eurobeat song, yet time after time they end up causing more negative than good. While I understand the fact that it's not solely eurobeat that Giancarlo produces, the more mature intros just don't fit in at all. Sun Fire is a title that has been long coming, I'm fairly sure nobody is surprised to see it on SEB. With the recent exposure and increase in Sunfire Records productions' level I was being hopeful that they would have used a great song to showcase the label's title, sadly not so much. Dave & Futura aren't a bad duo by any means, it just feels that the label isn't quite sure what sort of style the duet should be doing. Sun Fire is not a bad song, but the track suffers from production that doesn't really know what it's aiming for. The song has good amounts of energy to spare, but the still waters clash too strongly with the more energetic verses and chorus. The song ends up balancing between two and it's what causes the track problems: They should have gone for an excessively energetic performance or tone it down fully, this mixture just ends up being confusing.
Rating : 7

9.Dee Dee - The Dark Side Of Your Moon (Dima Music)
As others have already pointed out on the forums, the resemblance to Hey Hey Baby Cry is definitely present, not only for the fact that it's the old Dee Dee title in use again. I spent a lot of time replaying this song, yet I still struggle to understand what's special about it. The melodical structure is definitely nice and features some excellent and sudden key-changes, but the vocals don't quite fit in at times. Vocals themselves sound good, but the problem is the flow with the melody just isn't there. While eurobeat has been time and time again done with a mature approach, it occasionally does a song more injustice than one would think. I wager the issue with The Dark Side Of Your Moon is that it was not originally like this. To me it sounds as if there's a good pop song underneath the eurobeat synth and bass that just don't work with the song. A song with good elements, that just don't work together well.
Rating : 7

10.Marica - Forget My Heart (Delta)
I'm quite a pedant person so I can't even express how much I dislike the way the labels (Avex?) keep changing the way the artist's titles are changed here and there. I liked Marika more than this one with a c anyways. Stay With Me introduced us to Delta's new vocalist and she's back with a vengeance. Forget My Heart sounds like a direct continue for the debut tune both in good and bad. The similar style is present and the song is yet again mostly visibly noticed for the vocals. Vocals work nicely yet again, but it's really the interesting accent Marika has that adds up an extra layer of depth for the song. Like Stay With Me also Forget My Heart fits in the midtempo niche that is quite frequently used these days. An all around nice song that I have no quarrels with, but it isn't quite as much of a hit as the debut was.
Rating : 8

11.Norma Sheffield - You're Amazing (Sunfire Records)
Who honestly expected this kind of a song under the Norma Sheffield title, hands up? The exotic sounds with a great synth & bass combo infused with Norma's vocals form an excitingly new style. It has been a good 12 years since I enjoyed a Norma Sheffield song like this, so it's definitely about time. You're Amazing sounds vaguely like a song one could've expected to hear from the Nuage we heard on A-Beat C before she left the label. The soundworld in core is quite plain, but the tiny extra elements make the song feel really rich and enjoyable. Vocalwise I can't really call her my favorite, but the song does do her voice justice. While this doesn't beat her all time best track Spring Time, this comes in as a good second. A surprise for me in so many ways.
Rating : 9

12.Irene - Every Heart Wanna Fly (SCP)
I have been quite puzzled as to why Irene has been getting so much positive feedback these past few years, when in core it to me sounds like the very same style/genre as Kiki & Fancy/Christine, yet they mostly got bashing. Irene as a title has been going back and forth the slightly more free spirited style and maturity, which seems to divide fans quite strongly. Every Heart Wanna Fly is one step closer to the original style Irene showcased all the way back in 2004 with upbeat and happy vocals and a simple yet effective melody. I'm very sure the pitched vocals will drive away quite a few listeners, but then again they are all entitled to, the fun part is that even I get occasional stabs at my heart when I feel the pitching has been taken a bit too far... Every Heart Wanna Fly is a nice lil' song that works out fine, but doesn't quite leave a longlasting impression which is a shame. Yet that's how the songs in this style usually are, only very few really manage to do that.
Rating : 8

13.Jungle Bill - Flying Over The Sky (HI-NRG Attack)
Whoa, now HRG are finally letting lose like I've been hoping them to do for years! Wackiness is definitely the keyword of the day with Jungle Bill. The totally crazy keychanges in the melody sound really inventful and fitting for the song, it's a shame the excellent bits aren't used more commonly. Yet again, the restricted usage can actually make the parts stand out instantly. Flying Over The Sky sounds exactly like I imagine HRG to be: Bouncy, wacky and definitely not taking itself too seriously. And who doesn't love those "TORNADO!" samples at the background. An excellent homage to the way HI-NRG Attack eurobeat used to be in the early days. I'll take this over the slower material any day!
Rating : 10-

14.Mega NRG Man - Rocketman (Go Go's Music)
Wow, I am probably getting the worst mental images everytime I listen to this song. Somehow Tomas' vocals remind me of The Jetsons' George Jetson and even the title seems quite fitting for it. Rocketman provides quite a bit of energy and a great soundworld that is definitely unique and different from what we've come to expect from GGM. Tomas always brings forth such strong vocals the background is often just a prop for his voice, but this time around it seems the balance is a lot more equal and his voice isn't quite as dominating as it usually is. Highlight wise the c-melody is clearly what makes the song sound awesome, yet somehow the outdated "Yeah!"-shout we've heard so many times previously just doesn't fit in at all. A song that tears me up in two: On one hand it sounds unique and distinctive but on the other hand it sounds quite stuttering and repetitive. I like the song, but not quite as much as I really would want to...
Rating : 8+

15.Helena - Lonely Night (Healing Eurogrooves Remix) (Eurogrooves)
A good 30 seconds spend listening to someone go open up the door and mess around with her keys, yeah that's exactly what I wanted to hear at the end of this album. I mean SERIOUSLY? I absolutely love the original Lonely Night, but did we need yet an another remake we already had the 2006 version. The swift pace and aggressive attitude originally felt slightly out of place with the Helena title so in a way this slowed down style should be more fitting. From a standalone perspective the healing remix works surprisingly well and gives the song a strong Christmas feel. To me it sounds like the vocals are identical with the original which is a shame since to me they sound too altered to fit in with the beautiful musicbox-like style. A healing version I actually enjoy for a change, definitely a nice change of pace.
Rating : 8+

Final Words :
215 already paved way for a more solid all around level on SEB and it's definitely the exact same way with 217. This time around the album is quite fortunate to not have any bad songs at all, yet a lot of songs that balance at the ok/good level without really leaving much of a mark, which seems to be way too frequent these days. All of the labels bring forth something enjoyable, yet it's SCP drawing the longest draw with the help of Hotblade, but surprisingly nor HI-NRG Attack or Saifam are too far behind with Flying Over The Sky and Dance Boom Boom that both work excellently. Over all I would say the album in a way suffers from the wide array of decent songs that make the majority of the album's length feel too plain, yet it was refreshing to hear someone as surprising as Norma take me by surprise. If one had to pay for these songs individually I would bet that only a fraction would get bought. But ain't that just the way life goes? In the end I can't exactly complain much, but there's not a lot to cheer for either. 215 as an album is quite identical in level and it comes down to personal preference which ends up winning if the albums duelled. I would probably side with 217 due to the fact that there are zero bad tracks featured this time around. Hopefully 218 can bring forth a higher level so we can get a good finisher for this decade's last new releases.

Final Score : 8-

The Best 3 songs

- Hotblade - Disconnected
- Jungle Bill - Flying Over The Sky
- Tipsy & Tipsy - Dance Boom Boom

The Worst 3 Songs

- Sally - Feel The Magic
- Dee Dee - The Dark Side Of Your Moon
- Dave & Futura - Sun Fire


Honorable Mention

- Norma Sheffield - You're Amazing

Labels present on the album:


Delta: 2
Dima Music: 2
Eurogrooves: 1
Go Go's Music
: 1
HI-NRG Attack: 2
Saifam: 1
SCP: 3
Sinclaire Style: 1
Sunfire Records: 2

Reviewed by Bore