1992 was the year that the UK Hardcore and Rave scene began to blast off into different directions among different artists. 2 Unlimited were no different in this retrospect. This is their debut album, and remains their most popular and most loved, although it can also be seen as cheesy Techno. The style that these guys were actually synonymous with was Eurodance or EDM Pop. In any case, given the popularity of this album, the music counts and must be reviewed in retrospect. Let’s take a listen to this album, and hopefully, it will be a rewarding listen.
Get Ready For This is the first and title track on this album. It begins with a typical sounding Acid/Techno riff before hi-hats enter and this gets underway. The rhythm and beats enter, before launching into an awesome piece of music that has barely aged at all. A fun, decent and catchy listen. The Rapped part by Ray Slijngaard is marvellous, and this is a legendary tune. Female vocals are provided by Anita Doth towards the middle, which makes this piece sound a fresh and different listening experience. This is an excellent EDM Pop piece that must be heard by fans of the genre, and the layered levels of instrumentation on this song are really nice and amazing. A wonderful and upbeat tune that deserves listening, this is an old school classic. Nice work.
Twilight Zone begins with a cyber Disco sound that is very retro, but cool and catchy. It sounds a bit like The KLF, not so original in the musical context that it was. Despite that fact, this is a cheerful and upbeat listening experience that sounds really great and catchy, demanding repeat listens. There is a vague Acid House/Rave/Old School Hardcore feel to this one, but it sounds really amazing and catchy. A wonderful listen, perfect for that SNES session that you are hanging out to do. Surely, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s movie characters would have dug this music? It does sound rather cheesy, but a good piece of music nonetheless. The string, sampled drumbeats and mixture of male Rap vocals from Ray and female singing vocals from Anita are unique. A very great piece of music.
The Magic Friend is next, another Acid-based party classic. After a count-in, Roland beats enter along with some Acid squelches. This is outer space, party hard and a fantastic classic to listen to. These tunes are surprisingly good, and this track is likely about drug use. Still, despite that, this is a party classic that suits almost any mood perfectly. The Rapping by Ray here is really fresh and different, and this does induce headbanging throughout. There are many sonic surprises in the second half, namely some unusual sonic textures that sound out of this world. A great tune to listen to, and proof that this album has no filler. Excellent work. “The magic friend is what he is,” is repeatedly whispered by Anita towards the end before the track concludes.
Contrast is a shorter piece that sounds like a freaky Rave going on from the start. It goes into a weird groove that sounds awesome, but unusual. The two stars (Ray & Anita) here are aiming for the spotlight with their respective vocal parts, making this weird track come alive. A cool yet super quirky piece of music, this has a great deal of suspense running through it. It is proto-Aqua in some ways but is an original and brilliant form of music. A really cool piece of music from start to finish, and it just sounds really top and excellent. Nice tune. An uplifting piece of music.
Rougher Than The Average begins with some simple Roland 808 & 909 styled beats, which sound really cool and fresh. Soon afterwards, a catchy melody enters and Anita Raps along very well on this song. This is superbly catchy and although very retro, it sounds amazing compared to most other music on the charts today. Ray eventually joins in the party, and this piece of EDM Pop has many twists and turns to it. A very lively and inspired listen, it sounds really awesome and impressive. There is some early use of autotune on Anita’s vocals, yet not overly so. Ray then enters with his Rap part, before this classic tune has a lengthy outro with repeated melodies and rhythms, before concluding very nicely. A great listen. It ends with a scream, which is different.
Workaholic begins with a mixture of bells and compression, before having a fairly profane vocal sample, before launching into a mad and crazy sounding Acid groove that will definitely keep your headbanging along to this music. Ray raps about said workaholic, who is obviously loving working, not partying or anything similar. A very unusual sort of tune, this sounds really awesome and top and is very much catchy and listenable for many repeats. The second half is even better than the first half, with some really cool rapping by Rap and loads of percussion and textures that sound really amazing. Anita’s sung part is a welcome addition to this tune, and the whole thing sounds crazy. A very nice effort.
Delight begins with some interesting sounds, before launching straight into a more straightforward Acid House style piece with Ray’s awesome rapping. This is an amazing piece, quite like the first album by the Prodigy: cheesy but different. There are Acid sounds, piano and many intricate melodies and rhythms throughout. This is very traditional by today’s standards but is still thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish. A lively and lovely piece of music, Anita kicks rear here. A wonderful and awesome piece of music, this is definitely worth your time. Amazing and grand listening, this is classic EDM for those who love it. Excellent tune.
Get Ready For This – Orchestral Mix comes along next, and has a spacey and interesting introduction, before launching into an excellent remix of the album track. It is spicy, energetic and danceable, just sounding like a great remix overall. It sounds a little different and has no lyrics on it, but is still as necessary listening and wonderful as the original piece. A brilliant and awesome remix of the original tune, this does sound like a decent addition to any DJ set out there. A wonderful and awesome piece of remixed music, this sounds really top and amazing throughout. In the second half are some subtle breakbeats, followed by clever Roland TB-303 Acid noises and other interesting textures that sound really amazing. Top music, even for a remix. Great to listen to, even as a mere addition to this album. Nice effort, and sounds very catchy and lively.
Twilight Zone – Instrumental begins with cut-up loops that sound weird. It quickly launches into a superb instrumental version of the classic tune by 2 Unlimited. Even without lyrics, this does sound really fantastic. There is such class and instrumental precision to be heard on this track. Some salsa beats are here as well, which are interesting. A really excellent and decent piece of music, this sounds very party-ready. A driven and lively piece of fantastic music, you can hear how good this is by itself. A wonderful trip back in time, this sound very, very good. Very much EDM from the early 1990s, it does sound awesome. Good instrumental effort.
The Magic Friend – Instrumental Edit begins with a dark and creepy melody, before getting started. A really interesting and inspired tune, this sounds very different and decent. This instrumental is a rethink of the main tune on the album. It sounds like it could have been the soundtrack to Crash Bandicoot, it is surprisingly awesome. A really cool tune, it is straight ahead and excellent EDM. Lively sounding, this is very good for a piece that is three and a half minutes long. Another great listen from 2 Unlimited.
Rougher Than The Average – Instrumental is just that. Beginning with some basic beats, this is textured and layered very nicely. The melody kicks in and then we are underway. A very nice and cool tune, even without lyrics, this sounds like a nice piece to hear on one’s night out. Very professionally done and delivered music, this is good for the instrumental alone. 2 Unlimited obviously knew how to make tunes, although, in many ways, it is proto Aqua and American Idol sort of music setup here. Nonetheless, a good listen from start to finish. Good effort.
Workaholic – Instrumental begins just as much the same as the main track. It then launches into an awesome instrumental that sounds great. This is an excellent listen that sounds really good, and has the Rapping part from the original. It still sounds really good, mind you. A really different and neat sounding piece of well-crafted music, 2 Unlimited do a superb job on tracks such as these. Nice job, even for an instrumental. Great to hear.
Delight – Instrumental is yet another instrumental for this album. Perhaps not entirely necessary, but still interesting nonetheless, this is a really awesome piece of music. It comes across as a darker mixture of Acid House and Techno instrumentation here, which is different and cool. There are many nice sounds and samples throughout this tune, and this is a decent and awesome listen. The piano samples throughout are very bright and catchy sounding, which are followed by ethereal electronic sounds. A really cool and different tune, this sounds really nice. Little else to be said for instrumentals that we have already heard on this album, however.
Desire is back to the vocal-based tracks. It begins with some rather underwater based sounds before Anita puts on her total charm with some cool vocal parts and this track eventually gets going. This sounds very lush and tranquil, sounding a lot like a piece of music to hear on a holiday. Ray gets Rapping along really well, and this piece evolves nicely throughout. Indeed, the two vocalists come across as friendly competitors, and this is shining through on their music. Very pretty and beautiful music, this sounds incredibly fun. A decent tune, although somewhat filler, to be honest.
Eternally Yours is the last track and sounds way too 1980s to be appreciated. It was 1992, and the 1980s were a few years back. Still, it is a good tune regardless. Cleverly placed at the end of the album, Ray and Anita rap and sing beautifully throughout. A very strong statement regardless, it is about the concept of eternal love and everything that comes with it. Rather catchy and listenable, it is a very laidback and pretty listen to hear. Good song to listen to in a romantic mood, it is a laidback and good rhythmic tune, despite it sounding like straight out of the mid-1980s, rather than 1992.
This is a good album that still resonates well to this day. However, the mixture of originals and remixes do drag this album down a bit when listening from beginning to end. Despite that, and some of the now very dated sounds, this is worth listening to. A fantastic listen, even to this day, although this album does have flaws. Cool EDM Pop for those who like a trip down nostalgia lane.
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