Twenty years in the house game and 2 Worlds Collide is only Morales' second artist...
Jack Smith 2004-10-28
It's been a good year in the Def Mix camp. With new material in store from his former Red Zone partner, Frankie Knuckles, how fitting that the hiatus is similarly over for David Morales with 2 Worlds Collide, the Grammy winner's first new studio album in a decade.
A lot has happened since he debuted back in 1993 with the reggae-tinged opus "The Program". Awards aside, his production role call in the '90s included nearly all of the era's major stars: Mariah Carey, Madonna, Michael Jackson and U2 among them.
Jump forward to 2004 and his superlatively abundant return also heralds the arrival of a major new talent, with his newly discovered singing prodigy, Lea-Lorién, sounding uncannily like a youthful Madonna, on half of the 10-tracks. Little wonder with Lea-Lorién's pedigree: her father, guitarist Carlos Alomar has recorded with David Bowie since his "Fame" days (a track he also co-wrote with John Lennon no less); while her mother, singer Robin Clark, has worked with everyone from Esther Phillips through to Simple Minds.
The 23-year old songstress has also written a handful of tracks including the chart-topping single, "How Would U Feel", which explodes into an Olive-esque song and oozes the charm and delivery not unlike Maddy's "Ray Of Light".
Elsewhere Morales' other vocal discoveries add considerable depth and much needed warmth to the set: Tamra Keenan in particular on a trio of soul-etched dancers including the bubbly opening number, "Here I Am", and the tribalism of "U Came". Angela Hunte, meanwhile, vamps like a seasoned vet while effectively smoothing out the wildly infectious chorus and harmonies on the organ-driven "Feels Good" which just oozes of single potential.
But it's Vivian Sessoms who has the last word with the beautifully crafted "Take My Luv". This is a number that woos and wins with a stellar groove and a taut, instantly memorable melody that perfectly highlights Morales' uncanny ability to create timeless productions and uncover bright and exciting new talent. With a handful of tracks ripe for crossover radio pickings, 2 Worlds Collide shows an abundance of pop accessibility that will do anything but alienate the dance producer's core house market.