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Dropping in Summer 2009, "Party Hard" came as the debut album from the former UK Garage MC (who debuted in 1999), turned Funky House musician Donea'o. The musician sings soulful R&B to the urban House variant seen as an alternative to the Bassline scene (as the 'southern' alternative) and is one of the leading acts of this genre. In the past he has worked with the likes of Lethal Bizzle, Craig David and The Streets, and although he doesn't get any support, you see that he is able to construct some of the most lively club music for the UK.
1. "Riot Music"
Getting things going here, you have a track from him which sees him getting right down to some high energy material which is bound to get people and to excite people for what is to come as he shows what the dominant sound in London is as he rides heavy breaks and comes with a empowering lyrics for a big burst through.
2. "Devil In A Blue Dress"
Moving it on a little, you find that he drops what was his breakthrough song in the Funky House style as he gets don't to a jam which you simply cannot help but get down to as he comes with one which makes the best of his vocal ability whilst keeping things in the clubs and talking of the battles he has in his head as he attempts to resist the charm of the girl described in the title.
3. "Watching Her Move"
You see that the content of the song stays largely the same as what you got prior to it as he keeps things in the same sort of location and it has him just watching the ladies whilst he's out. You have the production move on quite a bit though with the twist in what the bassline has to offer as it pulls in even more of the listeners with its grunginess.
4. "Because I'm Strong"
You see the first big changes in the way that the production is done here as although you still have things held together with the House foundations, you find that the twist in the way it is used as instead of the Latin-influenced percussion, you see that it is stripped for a more general dance feel, and although I wouldn't really say I'm a fan of the 'Funky' style, this is a style I dislike even more.
I felt that the beats in this one were an aspect which were bound to excite quite a lot of people as you see that with this one he chooses to make another big change by taking things back a little in a sound which sounds to take on some elements of Funk House, but I felt that it was evident that there are also early Garage aspects being brought in with the '96-'97 sound being brought through it too for a throwback effect.
6. "Party Hard"
The eponymous track here was the track which really took his popularity to another level as this was the first song of his to really make an impact upon people once the Funk House sound had truly been established fully. It is an adapted version to the single version with him toasting his way threw most of it and it goes down as one of the best here.
7. "African Warrior"
This was another popular tune to come off the album and one which goes down well as you see that although he sticks to the Funky House material, he chooses to drop his singing for quite a lo of it and instead opts for raps to get him through. It is a fly one and fits right in here as one of those towards the top end of it.
8. "Forbidden Fruit"
You have a bit more of the mid to late nineties Garage (pre-2 Step) coming through in this one, and so I felt that he was hoping to attempt to keep people moving through it, but I felt that this one wasn't really going as others on the album had with it taking a bit of a turn towards the less appealing House side as he sings in a style similar to that of "Devil in A Blue Dress".
9. "Mind Your Business"
Initially I wasn't too sure on the beats for this one as it sounded so generic for a Funky House one, but it is quickly manipulated with some heavy Breakbeat segments to have him show how he is able to move things on as he does more where he takes from earlier times n urban house with one which has a 4x4 structure, complete with a heavy bassline running throughout.
10. "Love Music"
Unfortunately this wasn't kept going as he returns back to the standard Funk House, and it is just something which I can't really get into as easily as what was brought with things such as 2-Step, Speed garage and Bassline and so i felt that I couldn't really engage with it that well and especially went its being running through the album for so long, it loses its ability to actually get me moving at all.
11. "Be Mine"
Ending things here in the best way possible, you have him dropping a heavy tune which has him using some hardcore beats to show how he is able to work with a range of things. I felt that it rounded it off well, and dropped as a killer way to end it all with a freaky jam which uses purely original production.
I have to say that I was impressed by this album and I wasn't really expecting it to be as strong as it was for sections of it. Although it did have a few weaker ones, I felt that the range of tunes which he was able to bring out of this dance material was impressive as he prevented it from sounding in any way monotonous and kept the flow with injections of familiar sounds which are bound to bring out more energy in the listeners.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Roit Music
2 Devil In A Blue Dress
3 Watching Her Move
4 Because I'm Strong
6 Party Hard
7 African Warrior
8 Forbidden Fruit
9 Mind Your Business
10 Love Music
11 Be Mine
12 When Your Alone Bonus
13 Over You
14 Devil in a Blue Dress 2