It's My Life: The Album
Ok kiddies, flashback to 1992. My brother had spend some time studying in Germany, and when he came back, he used to drive around his Trans Am playing this album. It was the first technoish album I ever listened to, and because of the greatness of Its My Life, I picked it up when I saw it was in the BMG catalogue.
The late great Denniz Pop produced this album. You may know him as the Swedish DJ who also produced albums for Ace of Base, and later went on to write and produce songs for such bubblegum hip pop as the Backstreet Boys and Mrs I need a Better Publicisit, herself, Britney Spears.
This album is sort of an anomaly, as it has been made out of print (oop for you nerds out there) and replaced by One Love: The Album. which is the same album, has the same cover art, but is named after track three, instead of track two. Thats Sweeden for you.
While Dr. Alban is primarily a raggamuffin/dancehall guy, this album reaches into house and even drum and bass at times, and is a pretty good sampler of the good genres of techno music. The standout tracks on the disc are obviously the two tracks the album was named after, It's My Life and One Love. The first being a housey romp through the eyes of a man who is fed up with people telling him what to do, you know like Alban's Nigerian buddies telling him not to move to Sweden, his Swedish buddies telling him he isnt from Jamaica, and what not. Incidentally, if you sing the chorus from the Bon Jovi song of the same name over the chorus of this song, it sort of fits. One Love, on the other hand, is a pure raggamuffin jaunt about making nice with people under the rastafarian ideal of universal love. Both tracks are jammin (excuse the reggae reference) and way better than the other poppy reggae offerings of 1993, namely Ace of Base and Snow.
After the undeniably house track Sing Hallelujah! (you know it's house, cause it's telling you to do something) Alban shows off his African (or is it Afrikan) roots with a drum and bass heavy, tribal sounding Mata Oh A Eh. From there, Alban gives you a primer in Reggae music via his track, Reggae Gone Ragga. So thats six solid tracks, with varying degrees of lyric understandability, but all set to some groovin beats, and theres still four more to go.
So If you find yourself wanting to listen to Ace of Base or (god forbid) Snow, track yourself down some Dr. Alban, the greatest techno-reggae offering of the early 90s. You may not understand any of the lyrics, but you will be rest assured that you are listening to authentic Raggamuffin... or at least as authentic as a Nigerian born Swedish techno artist can give you.