When Chris Standring records a new album, you have to expect the unexpected. His upcoming album don't talk, Dance! is a departure from his earlier style, as we know it from his albums Velvet (1998), Hip Sway (2000), Groovalicious (2003), Soul Express (2006), Love and Paragraphs (2008), Blue Bolero (2010) or Electric Wonderland (2012).

Although he recorded the album with known jazz musicians such as bassists Andre Berry and Neil Stubenhaus, and drummers Dave Salinas, Guy Richman, Dave Karasony, Sergio Gonzales, Eric Valentine, Joey Heredia, Chris Blondal and keyboardist Rodney Lee, he surprises us with some Euro≠styled electronic dance music. 

Chris explains this decision: ď... I have to do something fresh every time out. On most tracks artists record in my genre, thereís a melody, chorus and solo and essentially their featured instrument is the lead voice throughout. On donít talk, Dance! I didnít want to play that game, putting my guitar up front every minute. Because when I listen to all the crazy European music thatís been inspiring me lately, Iím finding a lot of it is more about vibe than melody and I didnít want to change that too much. I chose to keep the Ďdancinessí part of that intactí but put my own spin on it ...Ē

So don't wonder, when Chris concedes Rodney Lee (keyboards) a prominent position on Sky High. This is as I wrote very Euro≠styled electronic dance music. Chris kicks further in this style on Inside Outside, this time with the guitar in forefront. A little spacey with a fine horn arrangement included. Doug Webb offers an extensive sax solo.

Sneakin' Out The Front Door comes with gentle wah-wah guitar music, later modified by a Talking Box served on a shuffle beat. With fast bang Standring presents Voices In My Head, the next level of funk. Everything is geared to the rhythmic flow. Soul Symphony lives of the opposites. Restrained savagery is paired with gentle atmospheric harmonies.

Another Fine Mess is a Rhodes oriented piece that has the character of a jam session. The horn section makes a statement with chords. With Mood Swing Chris mixed funk and electro elements. The love ballade Ride features singer Lauren Christy. A charismatic song with great radio power. Absolute Madness is a return to the new electro style, which doesn't significantly alter Standring's guitar performance.

Yesterday's Heaven reminds me of the Ibiza chill out series Cafť del Mar, relaxed and dreamy in the sun. Those who prefer Standing's melodious style, will fall in love with the compelling Imagine That. On Scatterfunk Standring melts propulsive funk with elegant swing. A string quartet delivers the background for the funky group of four. The sensual song Nothing Last Forever supplies a fine acoustic final, for all people with memories.

Standring is facing with Don't Talk, Dance! a different music style in the hope to gain a new audience without loosing the old one. On the album there is enough to recognize the former Standring. The future will tell if he succeeds in this coup.






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Album Information

Title: Don't Talk, Dance!
Artist: Chris Standring
Year: 2014
Length: 0:59:05
Genre: Club Dance
Label: Ultimate Vibe Recordings


01 Sky High [5:19]
02 Inside Outside [3:56]
03 Sneakin' Out The Front Door [3:55]
04 Voices In My Head [4:17]
05 Soul Symphony [4:21]
06 Another Fine Mess [4:51]
07 Mood Swing [5:34]
08 Ride [4:15]
09 Absolute Madness [4:20]
10 Yesterday's Heaven [4:34]
11 Imagine That [3:58]
12 Scatterfunk [5:08]
13 Nothing Last Forever [4:36]