Released: 25th November 2002.
N-Trance's "Set You Free" was arguably one of the best dance tracks of the mid-90s, largely thanks to the distinguished and powerful vocals of Kelly Llorenna. The superb production from N-Trance was also a key factor - though this was of course before they went down the awful-covers-band route with the likes of Rod Stewart's "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy" and Guns N' Roses' "Paradise City".
Over the years, Kelly's tried to break away and repeat the success of "Set You Free", but with lukewarm results. She's had a go at doing her own thing, teamed up with both Force & Styles and Flip & Fill, and even re-joined N-Trance on a number of occasions. However, it wasn't until the re-release of "Set You Free" in 2001 and the subsequent inevitable re-release of Flip & Fill's "True Love Never Dies" that she was able to emulate her previous successes.
Several years down the line, and an eagerly anticipated album from Kelly Llorenna finally sees the light of day. It may be her debut album as a solo artist, but curiously it's being touted as a "Best Of". Which is fair enough, considering her length of time in the music industry, plus the fact that it includes most of the hits (big and small) she's been involved with over the last few years.
In fact, the album has been divided into two parts. The first half consists of all those well-known tracks she's contributed to, with the latter half made up of brand new tracks. To her credit, Kelly co-wrote all the newer songs, and the majority don't take much listening to really get into. Most of them could easily become future singles, one of my personal favourites being "Fly With Me". Although many of the tracks are obviously trance-influenced, there are a variety of styles of dance music included here. The almost ballad-like "Forever" makes a unique stand-out, while there's even a fabulous Latin-tinged song in the form of "Te Quiero".
So is this album worth your while? If you're a fan of the old skool dance sound of the early 90s, and aren't put off by the trance sound of more current dance tracks, then this is definitely a must-have album! Even if you're only vaguely familiar with her material, if you've enjoyed any of her previous stuff you'll more than likely enjoy this collection of her greatest hits. Either way, a Kelly Llorenna album has been long overdue, but from the evidence of the final result, it's been well worth the wait.
For those of you who don't know, Kelly Llorenna has been the voice of several Top 10 hits last year. Before she found fame as a solo singer with "Tell It To My Heart", she lent her voice to tracks by the likes of N-Trance ("Set You Free", to name but one), Flip & Fill ("True Love Never Dies") and Force & Styles ("Heart Of Gold 98").
The bringing together of all the songs from her career on this debut is what makes it so much stronger then other dance albums by one artist. Usually you have two singles and lukewarm filler tracks, but here you have a collection of strong singles. The album is split into two halves, the first seven tracks include her singles (including a new version of "Brighter Day") produced by all the artists she has lent her voice to over the years. The other is where Llorenna has written some of her own songs.
OK, it's not going to be Fatboy Slim or Royksöpp, but it doesn't pretend to be. The album is just a fun, cheesy dance collection, simple as that! It includes some of the strongest dance tracks from the last year. Llorenna's voice is superb, in a true club diva style, and you can't help but wonder why it has taken her this long to bring out the album.
However, by the time you reach track 10, you can't help but think that you've heard something similar before on the album, with the high-octane trance card being played once too much. Also, the Latino theme of "Te Quiero" should have been avoided like the plague.
The album is well worth a purchase, but only if you haven't got the singles on a dance compilation. This can be enjoyed if you don't take your music too seriously. It's something you are going to play in your car, not listen to like it's a work of art. Cheesy, but fun. Better than Lasgo, anyway...