Anything & Everything

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Since the '80s, there have been two very different vocal trends in dance music. One is the big-voiced, full-bodied belter approach, which is exemplified by soulful shouters like Adeva, Martha Wash, Tamara Wallace (of Funky Green Dogs fame), and Taylor Dayne. At the opposite end of the spectrum is what could be described as the "womangirl/manboy" style -- in other words, adult singers who have small, thin voices and offer a decidedly girlish or boyish approach (Madonna, Amber, and the Cover Girls, for example). And if Anything & Everything is any indication, Carl and Donovan Jago (the brothers who comprise the producing/songwriting team Jago) are very much in favor of the latter approach. The womangirl/manboy school of dance-pop singing definitely prevails on this album (which is Jago's first release in the United States) whether they are featuring female singer Layla on "No Goodbyes," "Dream," and "Myself" or doing some singing of their own on "Fireflies." None of the vocals are fantastic or mind-blowing, but they're generally likable -- and overall, the material that the Jago siblings wrote for this CD is catchy and pleasantly decent. There are some instrumentals as well, including the intoxicating "Aquarius" (which is arguably the disc's strongest track). Although Carl and Donovan Jago are from Durban in post-apartheid South Africa, Anything & Everything never sounds anything like African pop; this 2004 release won't be mistaken for a Miriam Makeba or Ladysmith Black Mambazo tribute. Actually, Anything & Everything is consistently European-sounding; the tunes sound like they could have come from Germany, Italy, or one of the Scandinavian countries. Production-wise, this album sounds great -- and while Anything & Everything won't go down in history as one of dance music's five-star masterpieces, this generally enjoyable (if mildly uneven) effort indicates that the South African siblings are worth keeping an eye on.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 0:28
2 3:18
3 4:32 Amazon
4 3:16 Amazon
5 3:38 Amazon
6 3:14 Amazon
7 4:26 Amazon
8 3:22 Amazon
9 3:18 Amazon
10 4:21
11 4:15 Amazon
12 4:17
13 6:40
14 7:00
blue highlight denotes track pick