Monday, May 5, 2014

Boney M. - Ten Thousand Lightyears

This month marks the thirtieth anniversary of Ten Thousand Lightyears, the seventh studio album from the German-produced Jamaican vocal group Boney M. This 1984 release went to number 23 in Germany. The group at this point featured singers Liz Mitchell, Marcia Barrett, Frank Farian and Reggie Tsiboe.

Side one opens with "Exodus (Noah's Ark 2001)", a cosmic tale of species survival. The mid-tempo track has a funky foundation to it.

"Wild Planet" continues with the sci-fi theme with a welcome message to a new world. The song has a rapid-fire dance beat to it.

The mid-tempo dance song "Future World" follows.

Things slow down a bit with "Where Did You Go?", an R&B style ballad.

"10,000 Lightyears" has a dramatic, ominous sound to it thanks to the use of drum machines and other percussion. It then lightens a bit as the song's message of hope and promise shine through.

"I Feel Good" is next. This one has a strong Euro-dance flavor to it, big and bold, as well as strong vocal harmonies.

Side two starts with the rich string arrangements of "Somewhere in the World", a song about seeking one's place.

"Bel Ami" is next.

"Living Like a Moviestar" exposes the down sides of fame as big stars often find themselves living restrictive lives.

"Dizzy" is a cover of the 1969 hit by Tommy Roe. Boney M. definitely re-imagines it for a whole new decade and audience. I actually liked how it turned out.

"The Alibama" follows. I like the various layers of percussion and synths on this song about a sailing ship returning to port.

"Jimmy" is a song that appeared on an earlier album by the group, but it resurfaces again here.

"Barbarella Fortuneteller" closes out the album with Latin dance flair.

Thanks again to YouTube for allowing me the chance to hear the tracks from Ten Thousand Lightyears. I had only a passing familiarity with Boney M., so hearing a full album by the group was welcome. One of the comments I read on one of the videos likened the group to ABBA; I can certainly see a few similarities. Overall, it was a good listening experience with a few standout moments. Had I knew about this back in 1984, I likely would have picked it up.

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