Benjamin Diamond Strange Attitude

Few people know his name, but most will recognise his voice. Benjamin Diamond sang the lead vocal on Stardust's pre-millenial mega-hit, "Music Sounds Better With You." The track's combination of catchy melodies and electro-disco nostalgia gets taken to the extremes on this outrageous debut. Where "Music Sounds..." was an innocent dance floor anthem, the tracks on Strange Attitude unveil Diamond as male diva with infectious charms. The retro-grooves sound a lot like Les Rhythmes Digitales, while the vocals here are embarrassingly sexy, making Diamond a futuristic, French counterpart to Rick James, Robert Palmer and our very own Gino Vannelli. His lyrics on "18 & Over," "Joyride" and the breathy "Read In Your Mind" are musical pick-up lines, slightly obnoxious but mostly playful. The issue of being cheated comes up on "Playing With Myself" and his cover of Oran "Juice" Jones' "The Rain" (sans the rap at the end), while "U Were Born" and "Rich Personality" shows him in a more emotionally sincere, but still danceable light. The latter, in particular, should be a favourite for heads digging into early '80s synth-funk. (Sony)