Reviewed by Diego Mays
Need to get some new dance beats into your head? Do you just need to dance to something new? Well, Ace of Base is back to rock the world again. Their third album, titled "Cruel Summer," is filled with danceable beats, sad ballads, and a surprise (or two).
'Whenever You're Near Me,' 'Don't Go Away,' and the title track are pretty much as close to Ace of Base's usual reggae-dance feel as some fans will get. Everything else roughly is new in terms of the band wanted to try a lot of new things.
'Cruel Summer,' the title track, is a great remake of the Bananarama song. The dance beat to it is constant in the mind. It keeps the feel of the original while adding onto it as well.
'Donnie,' 'Always Have, Always Will,' and 'Cecilia' bring back the old summer feel of the '60s and '70s. 'Donnie' will bring back memories of those old summer beach movies. It's a song about a girl crushing over the guy that every girl wants as well. 'Always Have, Always Will' conjures up Diana Ross in her Supremes days. 'Cecilia' brings up the old summers where bands like the Beatles and the Beach Boys made girls go wild. The song's about a girl who was probably the great love of somebody's life.
'Every Time It Rains,' another remake, will definitely be a famous hit for Ace of Base. The mixture of melancholy lyrics and Spanish guitar beats makes a person remember that great love that they lost. It also has the potential to make people cry over it.
'He Decides' seems to be a song about a dominating man and having the strength to just walk away from him. Filled with high notes and a dark tone, this song is probably the darkest song on the album.
Finally the last three songs on the album is Ace of Base's attempts at various types of technodance. 'Tokyo Girl' has the most fast pace of the three. As the title would suggest it has a definite Japanese feel. 'Travel to Romantis' is more like the technodance heard in American dance clubs. Then the last song is another version of 'Cruel Summer.' This one has more rhythm to it as well as a lot more echoes.
"Cruel Summer" offers a lot of good songs and strong emotions. The band has been greatly improved upon since their last album "The Bridge." The result: A hot band and an even hotter album.