Wednesday, July 6, 2011

With Wynter's Music...We All Die

 Wynter Gordon has finally arrived. The debut of this pop starlet has been a long time coming. She has had featured performances on singles by Flo Rida (Sugar), David Guetta (Toyfriend) and Freemasons (Believer). She has writing credits for Mary J Blige and Jennifer Lopez. She has had a global smash hit with the sexy Dirty Talk that has been blowing up clubs for over a year. Not to mention a whole host of leaks and demos that could have been their own album…and a quality one at that. With songs that ranged from R&B to pop to dance, it was not certain what direction the vixen would be taking. But finally we have her debut album With The Music I Die where Wynter joins the ranks of Robyn and Kelis in their records of making a flawless, smart and ceaselessly interesting dance albums.

Dance has been made out to be clattery, brainless slut jams over the last few years with clattery, brainless sluts like Britney and Ke$ha making exactly that. People hear generic beats and drivel about drinking and automatically label it a “banger” or a “hot club track.” But many of us are not fooled. We are not fooled because we know that there are artists like Wynter Gordon. She has made such a stellar collection of dance jams that have intelligent lyrics, interesting production, and vocals with a heart and soul in every second. You won’t find an autotuned robot telling you to party rock and do shot shot shots til the world ends on this album. Yes, I enjoy a nice ho song as much as the next gay…but sometimes you wanna hear something real that doesn’t involved an acoustic guitar and an “indie” artist singing!

 The album kicks off with her 2nd single off of the album, the anthemic party jam Til Death. OK. So this song IS about partying set to dance music, but it is at least vocally stunning and entertaining as Wynter sexily sings “Let’s get loud as we celebrate life, til death do we party: WITH THE MUSIC I DIE!” This is the type of dance jam that needs no remix to fill floors, and with the proper promotion will be just as successful as her first single, Dirty Talk, which is the second track on the album. Just as strong as when it first came out, it is a nice early reminder of how she got to where she is.

Wynter keeps the energy going on Don’t Stop Me on a slightly lower tempo command to her man to not rev her up and let her down, telling him “once you start me, don’t stop me!” This track was one of the first of many songs on here that gave me some recognition to other popular artists’ style without every actually jacking it. It is more of a testament to her starpower than an accusation of swagger jagger. This particular song reminds me of Rihanna sometimes, and it would have been a smash for her! The next song is a stand-out, and is one of the funnest pop songs of the year, as well as my current unemployed dream put in song form. Buy My Love is all about finding yourself a sugar daddy who will spoil you with exotic trips, jewels, shoes, and chocolates, while Wynter sassily implies that “the love you show me baby is coming back to you.” My life-long dream is to no longer need to work and just find me a sugar daddy to love up on me…ah…dreams….but anyway the song has a bouncy edge to it that makes it a candidate for one of the best summer songs of 2011.

Just as you are getting comfortable with the dancey fluff that the first few songs of the album presents, the stunning centerpiece of the album comes in: Still Getting Younger. One of her best vocals (which at times was giving me some serious 80s Madonna teas) on the album set upon a slow disco production, her voice echoes with ferocity as she declares “Don't want no other baby, I got you covered, Our love is growing and getting younger.” But it is on the middle eight that the dance gem really reaches that rare moment where you immediately picture yourself in the middle of a dance floor and losing it. The music cuts out and Wynter’s high vocals take over and she drops a love letter to her man: “I'm not lonely, I just need you, Through this empty space again. I complete you and you could never turn me away! Our love will never end!” As that last note is held over top of the beat kicking back in, I remember hopping out of my bed to start dancing. My favorite moment on the album for sure.

Drunk On Your Love is another slightly crunchier disco track that could easily sit on the tracklisting of Kylie Minogue’s X, especially at the end of every chorus. You can assume what the song subject is based on the title, and it is every bit as fun as you would assume as well. Wynter follows this with one of the more downbeat songs on the album with All My Life, which is one of the sweetest love songs I have heard outside of Robyn for a good while that I could see lighting up some empty gay dance floor at 4am when only the fiercest queens are still out (oh hey, XES dance floor, take my tip!). I remember checking the tracklisting after this song and realizing that I was almost done the album with not one bit of filler, thinking there must be one coming up…

Well it certainly isn’t Rumba, a Latin song that would have fit in on JLo or Nicole Scherzinger’s albums, but luckily the Kevin McCall assisted song found its way on here and is a stellar nighttime island song. See RedOne? This is how you do a Latin-tinged song with subtlety. Wynter keeps up the lower tempo sound in Back To You, a song that almost seemed destined to be a slinky R&B song with the way the vocals came out, but instead she used a subdued disco production and lets her voice shine over it as she admits a series of her faults and that nothing in her life matters after she let her man leave. “Now I miss your heartbeat/and I miss your face/And I miss your story following me, and I miss your space.” Wynter clearly knows how to make a killer heartbreak elegy, and you can’t help to feel her pain on this one.

Wynter ends the album on a high note in a shimmering kiss-off to the boyfriend that took her for granted. “You took a real big chance when you gave me up/I swear I was your brain, baby I was your luck” she says with so much confidence that you instantly wonder what fool would let her go. It is the type of effortless and slick production that make it feel like an absolutely timeless dance track that will no doubt be played by love scorned women for years if there is any justice in the world.

Wynter Gordon has made the most solid dance album of the year. It may not have the ambition that Robyn’s Body Talk series had last year, but it has the same flawlessly compact feel that Kelis’ Fleshtones did. Either way, there is no other girl this year who has been able to make a series of dance songs that all have a different feel, each with their own separate story and identity, while remaining cohesive and completely Wynter. The only complaint is the same one that all great albums have: I WISH THERE WAS MORE! I could have listened to the beats in Wynter’s mind for hours, so only getting a short 33 minutes was a bit of a letdown. Luckily, as I said, there are past releases and leaks that can make up for it. Below are a few recommendations if you too want to hear more of what this rising popstar can do. I am off to listen to the whole thing over again, as I imagine I will be doing all summer long!

Other Recommended Tracks: Alice in Wonderland, Got It Bad, No Sleep, Renegade, I Feel Love

5/5 Wigs Snatched

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