Saturday Flashback: Cascada – How Do You Do

“It makes me smile every single time.”

Tim: And now, for no reason whatsoever other than “well duh, why not?”, let’s have some beautifully textbook mid-’00s Eurodance.

Tim: Not a lot to say about it, really – it’s a cover of Roxette’s (rather more successful) original song, and it makes me smile every single time it pops up on my phone.

Tom: There’s a lot to be said for a good cover like this: yes, Cascada could basically be any session singer, and yes, it’s a by-the-numbers remix — but in a style that I grew up with. Now I’m older, I’m aware that “repeating the chorus with one particular Eurodance synth patch” is not an objectively great bit of music: but that doesn’t stop me liking it. And let’s be honest, the talking bit does not fit in this song. But…

Tim: …it has a ludicrous dance beat, lyrics that are great to sing along with, and all in all I just love it. Unapologetically.

Cascada – The World Is In My Hands

It’ll be awful, right?

Tim: This is the necessary single release that accompanies any new Greatest Hits compilation; it’ll be awful, right?

Tim: NO. It’s actually really really good, and that’s not something I thought I’d ever be able to write about a new Cascada track. Recently, the output’s sounded like the energy’s drained somewhat from the first couple of albums, and she’s really just jumping on whatever everyone else is doing.

Tom: Particularly after Eurovision, where her song sounded like it was the previous year’s winner changed just enough to avoid lawsuits.

Tim: But this – this is back on top. It’s no Eurovision clone, it’s not a track with an idiotic title (why would you want a crowd to evacuate?). Instead, it’s original, it’s her own sound, and best of all it sounds like proper effort was put into it. I’m very, very happy with this.

Tom: I wonder how it would have done at Eurovision?

Tim: Probably quite a bit better. Eh, well. Too late for them now.

Cascada – Glorious

“I’m fairly sure that’s basically ‘Euphoria’ tarted up a bit.”

Tim: Remember how, last May, Loreen won the Eurovision Song Contest?

Tom: I did. She was very good.

Tim: And you remember the main hook of the song was the “eu-PHOOOOOOR-i-AH” bit?

Tom: How could I forget? I always sing “euphonium” along to it instead.

Tim: Well, from the song that Cascada wants to enter this year’s contest with, it seems she remembers as well.

Tom: Hmm. That’s… close. That’s quite close. In fact, I’m fairly sure that’s basically ‘Euphoria’ tarted up a bit.

Tim: It’s a decent song – the original stuff is very good, danceable and perfectly listenable. Easily, a possible contender. So, why oh why did they lift the hook, note for note, from last year’s winner? How can that possibly go anywhere?

Tom: It is still a good song, though. With her name behind it, I can actually see it winning, assuming the juries don’t just go “no, that’s a blatant ripoff, nul points.”

Tim: You know, I think you could be right. But still, I’m trying to imagine a conversation that might have happened, at some point in the production process – the only scene I’ve got in my head is a meeting between an angry producer demanding an immediate people-pleaser and Euphoria being the only CD the assistant’s got to hand as an example. “THAT’S GOOD! Now take it away and make it a bit different.”

A month later, “NO! That’s TOO DIFFERENT. Make it LESS SO, and also throw in a bit of The Wanted at the start to throw people off the scent.”

Cascada – Summer of Love

Let’s TICK SOME BOXES, people.

Tom: Okay, people. It’s summer, and we have a Eurodance act with a few hits behind them, who need a box-ticking summer CHOON. Let’s TICK SOME BOXES, people.

Tim: Here’s an idea that no-one’ll possibly see coming: you be sensible with this idea and I’ll be a bit silly with the video.

Tom: Standard Eurodance beat and synth work, vocals on top with distorted versions in the background. TICK.

Tim: Ludicrously distorted mobile phone display so we can read the entirely banal text message. TICK.

Tom: Video featuring shots of generic pretty people in very little clothing on a beach. TICK, although the “random video features generator” has landed on woman in shower, DJs, and – oddly – capoeira.

Tim: Said DJs starting out by going fishing and returning with a long-lost sunken mixing deck. TICK.

Tom: Generic lyrics about having a good time, with possible vague innuendo. TICK.

Tim: People queuing for drinks, being told there are free drinks elsewhere and promptly running off to lie down on beach towels. TICK.

Tom: Title of the song spoken in sultry voice as we enter the middle eight. TICK.

Tim: Half-second shot of an incredibly cloudy day that you just know someone’s going to get fired for. TICK.

Tom: No “euphoric build” in there, and no dubstep breakdown – this is pretty traditional by dance choon standards. Boxes ticked. Job well done.

Tim: Two more things: thankfully, this isn’t the atrocious cover of Rhythm of the Night they previewed last month and then sensibly forgot about, and secondly, which digital media pillock thought it would be a good idea to put the video title in black text on a largely-black background?

Tom: YouTube’s policy is that they “iterate quickly” on designs, so by the time this goes live they may well have fixed that. Nevertheless, it’s pretty stupid. Although not that stupid as that Rhythm of the Night cover.

Cascada – San Francisco

Remind you of anything?

Tim: San Francisco…that’s in California, right? Bearing that in mind, let’s have a listen to this.

Tim: Remind you of anything?

Tom: That’s… well, it’s fair to say it’s very much “in the style of” Katy Perry. It’s also about 12 months late.

Tim: Now let’s be honest, Cascada’s glory days are well and truly behind them. Which is a shame, because Everytime We Touch was a great album, and Perfect Day wasn’t bad either. This…well, this is pretty much textbook ripping off, and it’s disappointing.

Tom: It’s worth taking a moment to notice that this is another case of the YouTube Video Editing Phenomenon: where the official video of the song will have a break of a few measures in the middle that isn’t in the actual track, in order to get the people who use YouTube as a jukebox to actually pay for the track.

Tim: New album’s out soon, by the way – according to the description of this video, it’s called Original Me. Really, it is.

Tom: As opposed to all those copies of her that are running about.

Cascada – Night Nurse

It’s pretty typical.

Tom: Europlop reader Chris writes in with this suggestion. “Pretty typical,” he says, “but I actually quite like the autotune in this.”

Tom: This is off her soon-to-be-released new album, and Chris is right – it’s pretty typical. Metaphor for love – this time a medical one – along with her usual produced beats and her usual voice treated in the usual way.

Tim: I was hoping to be able to think, ‘Ooh, they’ve mended it’ after the falling apart that was Evacuate the Dancefloor.

Tom: Whoa, whoa, hold on. Side track. Evacuate the Dancefloor was great. It’s one of the main songs on Dance Central for a reason. It’s got the strange pre-chorus bit, yes, but it’s one of the catchiest choruses she’s ever done. What have you got against it?

Tim: It was just so different – it came out before I’d had time to get used to all the autotuney nonsense that was just starting to appear, and it was entirely not Truly Madly Deeply. It didn’t help that she completely ditched pretty much a whole (quite good) album after only one single, just to release a song that was more commercially viable. Twelve months later I’d probably have been quite happy with it, but then it just didn’t seem right.

Anyway, you know what? I pretty much can think that, once I’ve accepted that five years have passed and that autotuney nonsense is in fact here to stay. This is good Cascada, the verses especially – the Cascada that brought us Every Time We Touch and Bad Boy.

Tom: The usual vaguely-abstract video with dancers and glamour shots, too – although the producer’s doing the ‘stop people listening on YouTube’ thing by interrupting the song with a video scene half way through. We’re going to see that a lot more, I reckon.

It’s still a very good track though.

Tim: Indeed, I think it’s great – the auto-tune actually does seem good here, as though it’s being used for a proper reason rather than just because you’ve got to have autotune these days.

Tom: It’ll be interesting to see if one man – or, rather, his estate – gets any royalties from it, though. Very few Cascada fans will recognise Gregory Isaac’s reggae classic ‘Night Nurse’, but I reckon that one line in the chorus might be close enough to count for a writing credit.

Tim: What, two words? Seriously?

Tom: Two very famous words.

Tim: Well, yes.