It's almost ironic that the last new CD I reviewed was Eight To The Bar's Hey, Sailor!. That's indicative of how much we've been lacking in new decent music for dancers. While most people are looking forward to the summer, many dancers also are also lamenting the end of the dance season and several months of a dance shutdown.
It is appropriate that Eight To The Bar's new CD, Superhero Swinger Undercover, comes along at the end of June to save us from a boring summer. Has it really been two years since their last CD?
The title track, Superhero Swing Undercover sets the tone of the CD with a high-energy balboa piece. At the dance where I first heard this song, the band had announced that their next song was going to be a "balboa"(-tempo) so I was resigned to sitting out since I thought they were going to play Sing, Sing, Sing (although their rendition of that song is the only one to which I'll dance); I was happy to hear a new song that did "swing", albeit a fast one.
My Boogie Woogie Hand is a good medium tempo dance tune suitable for lindy, with quiet moments breaking forth with energetic sequences that tempt dancers to show off their best moves. The third song, It's a Groove, is...is...it's a good swing song! Three in a row? 3 good dance songs makes it a good swing dance CD. Everything after this point is gravy.
Maybe Someday "bounces" too much to be a bluesy West Coast Swing song; it's a slow lindy/swing song, a good thing, because I'm already tired from dancing to the first three songs. Sugar High keeps the streak going at 5 with a medium swing/slow lindy tune. Are they going to have anything left for their next CD?
For those quiet moments when we want to smooze up to our honey with a slow song, My Old Flame makes a great fit. Well, after five good dance songs, it's time we took a break for a good ol' "clutch & drape" song.
For those times when I actually sit down and listen to the lyrics, Reptile Man is probably my favorite song on this CD. It's a rumba/cha-cha! But the "story" in the song gives a chuckle. So far, 7 danceable songs, with 5 good for swing dancing.
The Shelf is a good medium-tempo song that adds variety to the repertoire. While I'm not entirely sure if *I* would get up to dance to this one, I know this song will fill up the dance floor. 5 more songs to listen to? Doesn't this CD have any duds?
Oh, Troubles Drift Away, the ninth tune, returns to the blues for West Coast Swing dancers. It's "okay", but then, I'm really picky about what I'd want for dancing West Coast Swing. Anyone else would play this song and not complain.
Hmmm...Romeo doesn't do anything for me. Okay...one song that doesn't move me. On the other hand, 90% of the people at a dance aren't going to sit this song out. I think this song is missing the "backbeat" that drives good swing dancing. Of course, I'm sure that the band will play this song at a dance with dancers in mind.
Skeleton Key makes me think of a slow Country/Rock song...not that I know what that genre is. Definitely not a Lindy, but I'm not sure what it is, either.
For something totally different, I'm My Own Grandpaw wakes us up with a song that is definitely not meant for dancing, but it's an interesting song that tempts the listener to *try* to follow the convoluted reasoning behind the lyrics. Someone had a lot of fun writing this song and I'm sure *someone* is going to try to write down all the relationships described in the song to see if it's "logical". As fun as it is to listen to, this is the one song that I would sacrifice if I had to make a tape; this CD won't fit on one side of a 90-minute cassette tape (yes, some of us still use those).
Set You Free is a good energetic Lindy finish to a equally good CD.
Bottom line? Eight to the Bar's last CD was a "good" value; it had the right number of good danceable songs so you're not wasting your money for danceable tunes. Superhero Swing Undercover *beats* that; it's an "excellent" value.
|1||Superhero Swinger Undercover||3:40||Balboa|
|2||My Boogie Woogie Hand||3:15||Lindy|
|3||It's a Groove||2:45||Swing|
|6||My Old Flame||4:53||n/a|
|7||Reptile Man||3:38||Rumba/Cha Cha|
|9||Troubles Drift Away||4:21||West Coast Swing|
|12||I'm My Own Grandpaw||2:24||n/a|
|13||Set You Free||3:38||Lindy|