Classic Albums No. 6 – Non Zero Sumness (Planet Funk)

A bit of a change of style for this classic album. Sometime in 2004 I was searching through the bargain bin at the now sadly defunct Purple Ear record shop, when I came across this album on sale for the grand total of 5 dollars. I bought it on the strength of Chase the Sun and Who Said, both big hits. What an amazing and delightful surprise it was. Those two tracks are club / pop classics that need little introduction, suffice to say that they really rock. Planet Funk are an Italian band that really know how to write kick-ass melodies with great dance rhythms. And not only that, they have a great ear for guest vocalists.

Non Zero Sumness starts with Where is the Max – an instrumental with a steady trance-like beat. (It was later included as One Step Closer with vocals by Jim Kerr from Simple Minds). Then comes Chase the Sun, sung by Auli Kokko. What follows is Sally Doherty (one of my favourite singers as you all know – at least you do if you’ve followed my Classic Singer series) singing All Man’s Land. Her voice makes me go weak at the knees, it’s so perfect on this song. Then come two club songs sung by Dan Black – The Switch and Inside All the People. They are great pieces of pop, mixtures of dance, pop, and are all class. Sally Doherty is back with Under the Rain – love this one too, and I have it on good authority that she wrote the melody and lyrics for this one – kudos to Planet Funk for getting her in on this awesome track.

Then Dan Black returns to sing on Parrafin. He has a distinct voice (he also sang on Who Said) which contrasts nicely with that of Sally Doherty. Piano Piano is perhaps the weakest track on the album but is a nice instrumental, which is followed by Tightrope, a song that features yet another vocalist, Raiz. This track has a great building intro that is almost a bit hip-hop, but morphs into a pop / club track. Then comes Who Said, and the the final track, The Waltz,  another wonderfully hypnotic song with Sally Doherty. There is a hidden extra track, Rosa Blu which is a sort of drum and bass instrumental – a very relaxing way to end the album. And that’s another thing about this album – it is really well sequenced, taking the listener on a journey of relaxation and elation. Top marks for this, one of my favourite albums. In my opinion it is Planet Funk’s best, but if you like it, the more recent The Great Shake is also worthwhile listening to.

You can (and should) listen to it here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3P6YJZImYY&list=PL5E3C70E8690A96B7

George

About George Fripley
I am a writer who enjoys writing humour, satire, poetry and sometimes a bit of philosophy. I live in Perth, Western Australia and occasionally get a poem or article published. It's all good fun! I have two books available for unwary readers, Grudges, Rumours and Drama Queens- The Civil Servant's Manual (This contains all that anybody could ever want to know about why government runs so slowly) and More Gravy Please! - the Politician's Handbook. (available through Amazon)

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