Some Euro ages reasonably well… some, not so much.
A whole decade ago this week, Dutch duo Sylver released their third album, the inaccurately named Nighttime Calls. The debut album Chances (2001) had the brilliant Turn the Tide and not a lot else, and follow-up Little Things (2003) had a couple of good hits but was largely average, so did the follow-up have more to offer?
Well, as with a lot of Europop, it goes very much for quantity over quality – there are fourteen tracks altogether. First up is the lead single Love is an Angel, which sadly is every bit as vacuous as the title suggests. Things do start to look up after that though – Take Me Back is still pretty meaningless, but is every bit the happy, cheesy dance that you expect from a Euro act, and it has a very catchy synth line too.
Summer Solstice may sound a little as though it’s still stuck in the 1990s, but it does have a great synth line, making it easily my favourite song on here, and the following track Who am I is pretty good too. Sylver always like to drop the full-on dance for a track or two on their albums, and this is the one this time round – it’s more pop than Euro, and it works well.
The next trio – Make it, Drowning in My Tears, and Sympathy – are rather more pedestrian. They’re still great Europop, but nothing more meaningful than that – and there’s a bit of a clue there for how to make the most of this album. Enjoy it for what it is, and don’t try to find anything deeper.
You might start to question this judgement with Where Did the Love Go and Fallin’, as they’re largely dreadful, but Tomorrow picks things back up to “average” again, so everything is OK.
The closing trio of Don’t Call Me, Where Did I Go Wrong and Sometimes doesn’t hold any particular surprises either. Again, as with much of this album, you can enjoy it if you suspend your judgement a bit and just want something to nod your head to, but groundbreaking this is not.
So Nighttime Calls isn’t total Eurotrash, but neither is it anything particularly special either. Which is a shame, as Sylver have, on occasion, been very good indeed. Just not this time.
You can find Nighttime Calls on import from Germany here.