Pop and dance music, and all its sub-genres and variants, may be a young persons scene but that doesn’t mean that the market will put up with a lower standard product than any other genre. Far from it, if you want to keep the pop dollar on side as the teen fan grows into a more discerning music fan then you need to deliver songs which offer both immediacy and sparkle yet are well wrought and sophisticated. Throw away songs may be great for the quick buck but even the most cynical record label marketing department knows that there is no future in that route. The clue is after all in the name…throw away.
There is nothing throw away about Kenneth Kane’s sunshine single Alive, not only does it tick all the right boxes to pick up the younger element, it also has enough sass and spine to snare a more mature audience. One which might have long quit the clubbing scene but still feels the need to feed the inner party animal every now and then. And that’s the trick isn’t, broad appeal? If pop is about escapism, good times and fun and dance is about expressing those feelings on the floor of the club then Alive could almost be the modern template upon which the young commercial house artist should work too. It grooves, pops and struts with confidence and effortless cool, it blends mediterranean club scene spice with urban, uptown swagger and comes with a video which is life-affirming, full of vitality and is the embodiment of a young life lived well. It’s hard to think of one thing that he has missed out.
At its most vibrant the beats are the perfect clubland pulse, groovesome, confident and full of energy, at the other the breakdowns are spacious and played for dynamic effect, sketched only lightly from modern electronica and chilled sound motiffs. It is this ability to switch between the dance floor drives and the sultry spaces between that creates a wonderful play off of musical light and shade and the perfect song to bridge the gap between the nights main event and the start of the more chilled early hour vibe.
Alive is set to become a favourite of modern club culture, it is as simple as that. It delivers all the goods, all the expectation and fever that a dance floor classic needs, but it does so on its own terms. It doesn’t pander to the audience, instead taking familiar sounds, deconstructing them and cleverly putting them back together in an interesting new way. For those reasons it could easily be clubland future classic , one brimming with a longevity that will prevail long after the dance by numbers tunes have be dropped into the musical landfill site of history.