Perennial dance diva Amber sets a fresh foot forward with her latest dance offering "Melt With The Sun." While the embers of her last CD My Kind Of World still cool, having spawned a string of successful Billboard Club Play hits, Amber once again proves that she is capable of producing quality work without the help of a major label. A look at the lineup of remixers she has employed is evidence of all she's learned over her many years of presence in the dance community, and they add credibility to this release.
Hex Hector maintains his consistency as a competitor in club play with his interpretation. From the first beat your toes will be tappin' as his layered builds always invite the listener into his mix without the glaring "two minutes of useless beats" that would normally drive any non-DJ crazy. Even without Mac Quayle or Dezrok by his side, Hex has proven that his abilities are timeless, relevant, and effectual when the material he's working with provides a proper canvas. Amber's vocals are upfront and undisguised, as they deserve, and the mix in places has melodic parallels to Alex Odden's work on the Euphonic label (reference Oceanlab's "Satellite" here). It comes as close to any of the mixes in creating a genuine "club" track" out of this song, but with its obvious lack of a clearly defined chorus, the song doesn't really have the true "launching point" to give it solid flight. Anthems are defined by their hook, and this songalthough lovelydoesn't have that on the line. Hex has done his best, and it is a delight to the ears.
Tracy Young's mix provides, in my opinion, the closest sideline to the song's true mood. Lush with bassline and keyboards that at times resemble a joyous horn section ala old Squeeze or Level 42 records, the beats don't swallow the track's "happy vibe" and keep the lyrical rapture intact. Although not a mix I could see as an opulent choice at peak hour club play, it is definitely perfect for that light-at-heart T-dance or happy hour.
Lance Jordan holds fast to his "less is more" approach and gives us a darker, moodier interpretation for late night bliss. Actually (and surprisingly) a little faster than the other mixes, it offers a few simple piano notes over a full keyboard that keeps the track together. Whether vocal or dub, both offer a heavier alternative if your club is smoky and dark where delicious beats rule supreme.
The Sweet Rains arrangement is classic early Amber, pulling back to the roots of her early singles for a full-throttle Euro mix that no clubgoer could truly find objectionable. Heavy with synths and peppered with electro flourishes, this mix has a gallop that doesn't quitno drama, no dropouts, just pure "dance, Godammit!" attitude and "oomph." Imagine if the Real McCoy met JS-16, kicked the rapper to the curb and hired a real vocalist. It's that kind of guilty pleasure.
Although this track isn't a floor packer by any means, it is pleasant to the ears and appropriate for strategic club play. A stronger chorus would have helped the song to take flight, as it seems to get that pregnant build that is never quite realized. Amber's track record has proven her pen has what it takes to write such a hook, as most of her discography has been defined by the one-liners and syllables that make for that perfect pop song. It still succeeds in delighting the senses, and will no doubt please fans of Amber's work.