This is the 2000 debut CD album by Dutch group Alice Deejay, called Who Needs Guitars Anyway?.
This is certainly a europop/dance album that unashamedly relies on vocals, a computer, and a synth. DJ Jurgen was behind this.
The album eventually spawned 5 singles. Starting with Better Off Alone, through Back In My Life, Will I Ever, The Lonely One, and Celebrate Our Love (which I don’t remember).
It’s easy to see that Alice Deejay preceded acts like Basshunter. That hard beat is there, but the latter managed to take it further. And it’s clear to see that Alice Deejay’s contemporaries were the likes of fellow countrymen The Vengaboys, and Belgian group Lasgo – as they all compete for bouncy, bleepy, pumping, europop, accompanied by exotic looking videos drowing in sunshine. What could you possibly dislike about that combination?
This was my first ever listening to this album, although I’m very familiar with the singles that it spawned – having spent many hours dancing like a fiend to them in various dark and dubious clubs.
With 14 tracks in all, of which 9 weren’t singles, it’s interesting to see just how original their sound can be – and whilst it doesn’t stray from the style you hear in the singles, there are some tracks that are inevitably weaker than others. Fairytales, Got To Get Away, the dubiously titled Everything Starts With An E, and the fairly lyrically dull (but musically nice) eponymous song Alice DeeJay are probably my least favourite here. Fortunately they’re consecutive and at the end of the album. If it had stopped short at a 10 or 11 track album, then I’d be hard pushed to find anything wrong with it.
I often wonder whether big dance tracks with repetitive lyrics and synth hooks will turn up in years to come, being played by singer songwriters at acoustic gigs. I guess not. And it may be that which means that unless re-releases, samples, and attempts at comebacks occur, then this great sound will die.
I’m pleased to say however, that it stands up pretty well at 14yrs old. Sure, this kind of music doesn’t threaten what’s left of the pop charts any more, but it has enough roots that reach into dance and remixes, that it doesn’t feel too out of place.
Where are alice deejay now?
What became of Alice Deejay? Well, after a switch of vocal, the group are back and making new music again, and with a slightly altered name – now Alice DJ.
To be honest, none of them look old enough to have made pop records in 2000, but they’re smiling about something – so maybe they have a plan, and still no guitars.
POP RESCUE 2014 RATING: 4 / 5
UK CHART 2000 POSITION: #8, and certified Gold by the BPI.
POP RESCUE COST: £1 (from a Poundland)