Though he’s best known as dance vixen Sally Shapiro’s producer/songwriter, Johan Abebjörn is releasing a compilation album of his own. Casablanca Nights is a collection of European disco pop that features some of the best music in the genre.
The album kicks off the pretty/haunting piano sounds on 8ths. Depending on your point of view (or mood for that matter) any emotion can range while listening. The one thing that can’t be denied is that once the synths are added to track, it feels like you are listening to the soundtrack to an emotional moment in a film. The all-instrumental track lets your mind do the exploring and reach it’s own conclusion on what the true meaning behind the song is.
Once lulled into thought, the album takes a Euro-pop turn on “The Last Day of Summer.” Featuring Queen of Hearts, this song is vintage ‘80s pop that would have been at home on the soundtrack of any of your favorite films of this era. Whether it is Cocktail or if you want to stretch into the ‘90s, it could have been a New York club kid’s favorite. Either way you look at it, the track is a fun, catchy and easy to dance to.
First single “Watch The World Go By” features Lake Heartbeat is worthy its status. The European dance influenced track is sure to be an anthemic song in clubs, especially heading into the Ibiza season. Lake Heartbeat’s voice goes well with the dance beat and is extremely catchy and has tremendous crossover appeal to American Top 40 radio.
Shapiro guests on several tracks, including “Alice,” where she shares the singing duties with Fred Ventura. Her sultry vocals fit well with the track, which has Madchester written all over it. Ventura complements Shapiro well and the beat could have very well have been the backdrop to a New Order track during their peak. Easy to dance to or simply to have as the soundtrack to your workout mix, “Alice” is one of the bright points on an album full of them.
Though the album may have been conceived in Agebjörn’s home of Sweden, Casablanca Nights channels the tropical feel of a long night in Ibiza, the Black Sea or South Beach. If you are a fan of innovative dance music that feels like summer, then this is for you.