Peter Wilson - Overdrive / Never In A Million Years
Buy the double CD pack of Overdrive-Never In A Million Years here (Energise)
In a week where Twitter seemed to go into a (justified) meltdown over the rather phenomenal new Steps single, I am hopeful that these very same folk will go out their way to seek out quality pop from those artists that have been flying the flag for the genre for several years now. One such fella is, of course, the mighty Peter Wilson - a man whose love of 80s and 90s pop is so part of his DNA that each and every song he crafts is an exhilarating treat; an antidote to the cookie cutter beats and album tracks that seemingly clutter up the UK top 40. Peter's music demonstrates how accessible and from the heart pop should be - never afraid to wear its influences on its sleeve but with a healthy dose of the singer's own life experience in there too. With his latest release (from his excellent Overdrive album), Peter has gifted us with not one, but two dynamite songs. It's almost a throwback to the double A sided singles of yesteryear (a format much missed by me so very much appreciated that it is revived in a slightly new fashion). The first song is the album title track, Overdrive - and possibly the best London Boys inspired piece of music you will hear all the live long year. Scintillating synths and dramatic, grandiose beats collide in a thrilling fusion of sound that stirs the senses and compels you body to hit the dancefloor (hard). This creates a compelling setting for Peter to weave his tale of letting go of inhibitions, taking a chance and grabbing opportunity when you find it. Combined with the tangible excitement in his exuberant vocals, it invokes that frisson of anticipation that the night can bring - a time where darkness cloaks the civil politeness of day and anything seems possible. Throw in a chorus with delicious "oh Oh oh"s and a refrain that makes you want to raise your hands to the sky in emphatic testimony, and it is a winning concept from start to finish.
The flip side of this package (and every bit as juicy) is the intoxicating Never In A Million Years. For me, songs with "million" in the title have always won me over (see A Million Love Songs, One In A Million, Two In A Million, etc) and this is no different. It shows that Peter isn't afraid to flirt with different dance genres, all the while giving the listener access to his own intimate memories. Here he has brought to life, through vivid poetic imagery, those feelings of unrequited love - those times when it seems the object of your affection (who you know would fall in love with you if you could just get him away from his supermodel boyfriend) notices everyone but you. Surrounded by house piano and seductive rhythms, Peter immerses himself in the groove to deliver his bittersweet message with a mixture of longing and resignation. It is never gloomy or depressing though - Peter manages to make it feel as if he sings not because it will win over his paramour but because singing through the heartache is a step on the journey to a better tomorrow. And in that sense, the uplifting music takes his sweet tones and sends them skybound, leaving the listener with an endorphin rush of epic proportions. Oh, and while both songs come with a plethora of remixes, my favourite has to be the I Feel Love inspired Italoconnection Remix of this very song. So good, its so good, its SO good...