I discovered Benny Benassi when he released the smash hit 'Satisfaction' a few years back. You know the song, 'push me until I get my satisfaction.' The video has girls in bikinis drilling holes. He is more popular overseas, having failed to match the success of that hit song, but this album gathers some of his bigger European hits.
The album starts with 'Satisfaction' which has a deep and purring bassline. The kind of bass which will make your feet quiver and cause bass bins to self destruct, while a robotic vocal shouts instructions over the top. Simple and effective and definitely one to grind to late on a saturday night.
'Love Is Gonna Save Us' has an intense and sweltering riff that makes the most of his appegiated synths. Agaian employing a frantic bass hook which really drives the song along at breakneck speed. The female vocal is sexy and seems to have been influenced by the sound of back alley dirty New York discos.
'Who's Your Daddy' is a filthy piece of electro dance with a grimey sound and some sinister vocals, way too heavy for the charts, the sound of children screaming in it does not sit well for me. Head to 'Time' which is easier on the ear. The bass on this calls to mind Picotto's earlier tracks. Minimal and sleazy, it does the trick and has some resonating earthy synths.
'Able To Love' sounds like 'Satisfaction' and has a similar robotic voice. It is essentially a retread and offers little new for the casual listener. 'I Want Your Soul' uses the exact same kick drums as the aforementioned and plunges you into a deep and murky bassline which will have you reaching for your glowsticks.
The album does have a megamix, which works well as all the stuff gels well together, though in all honesty, this is a very samey album and you have heard two, you will have heard them all.
Benny Benassi? Who's that then?
Benny Benassi is an Italian producer and DJ who has been a mainstay within the electro house scene since 2002. It's not a name that you would have seen frequently within the UK singles chart, but that's not to say that this compilation isn't justified. Twenty-four single releases, four studio albums and over thirty remixes for major recording artists later, it seems fair that Benassi should get a greatest hits collection.
Benassi's popularity is in no small part down to the very distinctive style with which his musical and remixing style is associated. Best encapsulated by one of his earliest (and most successful) singles, Satisfaction, Benassi's style is arguably very formulaic. A strange, rather robotic-sounding female vocal normally introduces the track with a snatch of broken English before a very heavy bass line kicks in, to be overlaid against either a heavy, electric instrumental, a synthesised vocal (male or female) or a combination of both. The Best of Benny Benassi comprises fourteen tracks (two repeated in different mixes), most of which stay pretty true to the aforementioned Benassi trademarks.
Love is Gonna Save Us is by far the strongest and most memorable track. It's something about the moody, bass-driven intro that feels darker and, strangely, more masculine than some of the other material. It's one of those tracks that completely takes off after about a minute and is worthy of the title 'anthem'. 'Time' is impressive and likeable too, with a catchy, electro sound that gives into a slightly funkier beat than some of the other tracks. 'Time' relies less on the vocals and fuses together a curious combination of techno and funky house, albeit with a very limited interest span. There's a whiff of Kraftwerk about 'Get Loose' that uses a male vocal for the robotic samples and 'No Matter What You Do' has a more epic scope brought about largely on the synthesiser.
Curiously, it's the best known, most popular tracks that do the least for me. 'Satisfaction' (which made number two in the UK) has been literally done to death now and lacks any real appeal. Indeed, after Benassi experienced such a strong reception to Satisfaction, his remixes started to carry a common nomenclature that revolved around the Sfaction label. There have also been countless bootlegs and fusions of the track with other songs, as well as a number of other tracks that seem popular with Mash Up DJs. Tomcraft's 'Loneliness', for example, seems to either follow or precede Loneliness on a countless number of dance music compilations. 'I Love My Sex' is a bit trashy and whilst it stays true to the Benassi sound, it's just a bit tacky. 'Who's Your Daddy' is just horrible, a sort of messy mash up of silly female vocals and noisy thrashing guitars. Of all the tracks on the album, it's the closest that comes to justifying the reaction of many listeners that this is just a load of old noise. The 'Megamix' kind of works but is inherently tacky and lacks any real credibility.
It's difficult to 'enjoy' this compilation listening at home or on the iPod. The similarity of many of the tracks is unquestionable and whilst this might make a meaty pre-cursor to a night out, the novelty soon wears off. As a compilation, this would possibly have benefited from either a second disc of some of Benassi's mixes of other artists, or simply a cross section of original and remixed material on one disc. There is an impressive selection to choose from, after all. With remixes ranging from Britney Spears to Goldfrapp and Moby, it's easy to see how a compilation of this nature might sit better with the general public and have a little more longevity. That aside, it's worth remembering that the backdrop to this disc is not supposed to be a small carpeted room, and when shared with a basement full of sweaty young men with no T-shirts on, this is probably the best soundtrack you could ask for.
The Best of Benny Benassi is only available in the UK as an import disc but should cost no more than £10 through the major online music retailers.
2. Love Is Gonna Save Us
3. Who's Your Daddy
5. Able To Love
6. Get Loose
7. Inside Of Me
8. No Matter What You Do
9. Change Style
10. I Wanna Touch Your Soul
11. Put Your Hands Up
13. Who's Your Daddy
Disc #1 Tracklisting
2 Love Is Gonna Save Us
3 Who's Your Daddy
5 Able To Love
6 Get Loose
7 Inside Of Me
8 No Matter What You Do
9 Change Style
10 I Wanna Touch Your Soul
11 Put Your Hands Up
13 Who's Your Daddy