Destiny (No Angels album)
|Studio album by No Angels|
|Released||April 13, 2007|
|Producer||AJ Junior, Arnthor, Boogieman, Thorsten Brötzmann, Ghost, GrooveFactory, Tobias Gustavsson, Jiant, Kriss K., Kent Larsson, Ivar Lisinski, Max Martin, Adrian Newman, Vincent Pontare, Harry Sommerdahl, Roland Spremberg, Twin, Michel Zitron|
|No Angels chronology|
|Singles from Destiny|
Destiny is the fourth regular studio album by all-female German pop group No Angels, released by Polydor Records and Universal Music Domestic on April 13, 2007 in German-speaking Europe. Recorded during the first quarter of 2007, it marked the band's first commercial album release since their official disbandment in the fall of 2003. Primarily produced by production teams Jiant and Twin, with additional contribution from Max Martin, Steve Mac, Adrian Newman and Tobias Gustafsson among others, it was and the first album to feature the No Angels' second lineup, excluding original band member Vanessa Petruo.
Recorded within a period of a few weeks only, the album was generally lukewarm-received by music critics. On the charts, Destiny peaked at number four in Germany, and reached number fourteen and number twenty-two in Austria and Switzerland respectively, barely selling 30,000 copies within the first three months of release. Altogether, Destiny spawned five singles with Twin-produced "Goodbye to Yesterday" and "Maybe," the ballad "Amaze Me," the Womack & Womack cover "Teardrops" and the German ESC entry "Disappear." Previously unreleased, latter two appeared on a re-release edition of the album, branded Destiny Reloaded and released on March 14, 2008.
Conception and production
Following their secret reformation in mid-2006 and several early meetings in Stockholm, Sweden at the end of the year the No Angels finally entered the Sound N recording studios in Cologne, Germany in January 2007 to intensify work on their then-untitled fourth album. Although the band members each had written or pre-recorded demo songs for the album, they eventually decided not to record self-written material as Benaissa, Diakovska, Mölling, and Wahls found themselves struggling to find a stylistic "main thread" within their own songs. Instead, the band focused on collecting and selecting adaptable songs with a "typical but contemporary No Angels sound," of which some were penned exclusively for the group by various producers and songwriters from Sweden, England, and Australia.
With most of the album's instrumentals being produced in absence of the band, all vocals for the album were recorded simultaneously in two studios and control rooms to get all the vocals done in around eighteen days and meet the deadline. In-house studio engineers Nico Schütte and Tobias Eichelberg were consulted for recording at the Sound Studio N, with the first half of the album recorded in mid-January 2007 and the rest wrapped in late February 2007, interrupted by several promotional appearances. In the end, thirteen out of a total of sixteen fully recorded and mixed tracks made it to the final tracklisting.
Tracks and recording
The album's opening track, "Goodbye to Yesterday," was an eleventh-hour addition to Destiny`s recording list, handed in by longtime contributors Niclas Molinder, Pelle Ankarberg and Joacim Persson. It was eventually selected as the album's lead single out of a total of seven candidates, and the first song confirmed to be appearing on the album, reaching the top 5 of the German Singles Chart upon its release. Molinder and Persson's other offerings on the album include guitar-driven "Back Off" and the album's second single "Maybe," a cover version of Norwegian singer Trine Rein's Melodi Grand Prix 2007 entry. The quartet worked with Swedish production team Ghost on "I Believe in You," and Arnthor Birgisson on "I Had a Feeling," both being remakes of the same-titled songs on Agnes Carlsson's 2006 album Stronger. As reported, latter track occupied the longest work until complementation. "Been Here Before" was written and produced by Itchycoo band members [Tobias Gustafsson and Mia Bergström. It has been described as the moxt experimental record on the album, radiating "pure sexyness," according to Mölling. Steve Mac and Karen Poole contributed "Amaze Me," the album's third single; while newcomer Adrian Newman produced the "spheric" mid-tempo ballad "What If." "Make a Change," the group's favourite song on the album, is an English language remake of French girl band L5's single "Reste Encore" (2003); it was one of the first song first songs assuredly to be included on the album, alongside "Misguided Heart" and "I Don't Wanna Talk about It." Dana Glover track "A Reason" has been described as a highbrow track, comprising a complex musical mixture by the likes of Tori Amos and Amanda Marshall, and a perfect introduction of the album's last song, "The Rhythm of My Heart."
Style and lyrical content
The No Angels have described the album as "more of a continuation" of earlier projects instead of a musical reorientation in the course of the reunion, containing "powerful up-tempo songs, beat-driven tracks and empathic ballds" in similar style of the band's pre-disbandment releases. However, although incorporating elements of rock, soul and dance music, the songs are mainly affected by keyboards and string instruments. Commenting on the albums lyrics and their tendency to post-break up issues, Benaissa said: "I'd say, we're offering a broad range [of topics] with different directions [...] We just chose [the songs] for their statements, their energy and the feeling."
Although the quartet had several titles for the album in mind at one time or another, including "platitudinous und boring names such as Comeback, Reunion, Chapter Four and New Beginning," the title of the longplayer was actually inspired by a demo recording for the album, named "Destiny Calls." The record failed to make the cut on the final track listing, but widely served as a metaphor for the band's "emotional relation" to the band.
Destiny received a mixed reception from music critics, with most professional reviewers praising the quartet for their "unmistakable singing pleasure" and "strong vocal performance" on the album, also commending the band's modern understanding of "solid pop music." Others called the album a "well-produced comeback missing a big bang," with laut.de and CDStarts especially criticizing the outweighing amount of filler material on Destiny and the songwriters' tendency for semi-plagiarism on songs such as "Been Here Before" and "Make a Change" which the considered ripoffs of other releases such as Justin Timberlake's "SexyBack" and En Vogue's "Don't Let Go."
Nana Heyman of Der Tagesspiegel complimented Destiny a "solid pop album, well-produced [and] straightforward. But principally: [it's] not maudlin; while MusicHeadQuarter writer Astrid Weist wrote: "The album comes as no real surprise but is a bit more rocking in comparison with the No Angels' previous efforts. Altogether the musical direction is well-balanced. She gave Destiny seven out of nine stars.
Released on April 13, 2007, Destiny debuted at number 4 in Germany, number 14 in Austria and number 22 in Switzerland, making it the band's first regular studio album release not to reach the top position on the German Media Control Charts and the top 10 in Austria and Switzerland respectively; Billboard ranked the album fourteenth on its European Top 100 Albums chart. As of June 2007, the album had sold about 30,000 copies domestically, also making it the No Angels' lowest selling album to date. While plans for a Special Winter Edition of the album were eventually scrapped, both a Limited Pur Edition, containing the previously unreleased single "Disappear," and a Reloaded edition of the album, including a second disc, were released on March 14, 2008 and re-entered the German Albums Chart at number 75.
Although scheduled to spawn a fourth single, the original album produced three singles only: Redfly-penned "Goodbye to Yesterday", the album's lead single and the band's first release after a three years absence, reached number 4 in Germany, and peaked within the top 20 in Switzerland and the top 30 in Austria. By contrast, follow-up "Maybe," a Trine Rein cover, and a third single, consisting of "Amaze Me" and a previously unreleased cover of Womack & Womack's "Teardrops," both saw moderate impact on the charts with peak position of numbers 36 and 62 in Germany and Austria, and number 25 respectively, becoming the band's lowest-charting singles to date. "Disappear," which served as Germany's entry for the 53rd Eurovision Song Contest 2008 in Belgrade, reached number 4 on the German Singles Chart, where it became the band's biggest-selling single since the reformation in fall 2006. It also reached the top 30 of the Hungarian Airplay Chart and peaked at number 21 on the Eurochart Hot 100 Singles.
Looking back, No Angels member Sandy Mölling admitted she would have re-worked the promotional strategy for the album following the mediocre success of the Destiny: "I love this album very much [but] the only thing I'd fault is the lack of courage [we had] when it came to selection of the singles. The album contains a lot more stronger songs, which would've have been more daring [to the audience] probably.
|1.||"Goodbye to Yesterday"||Twin||3:29|
|2.||"I Believe in You"||3:36|
|3.||"Been Here Before"||
|6.||"I Had a Feeling"||3:30|
|7.||"Make a Change"||
|9.||"What If"||Adrian Newman||
|10.||"I Don't Wanna Talk About It"||
|11.||"Misguided Heart"||Jiant, Snowflakers||4:08|
|13.||"The Rhythm of My Heart"||Thorsten Brötzmann||3:00|
|2.||"Been Here Before"||
|5.||"I Believe in You"||
|6.||"I Had a Feeling"||
|7.||"Maybe" (Tomasino Remix)||Maryann Morgan, Molinder, Persson, Ankarberg||Twin||4:01|
|8.||"Make a Change"||Christina Rumbley, Peter Ibsen, Sacha Skarbek||Jiant||3:37|
|9.||"Back Off"||Molinder, Persson, Ankarberg, Jassy||Twin||4:25|
|10.||"Been Here Before" (Tomasino Remix)||Tobias Gustafsson, Mia Bergström, Haakan Nils Ingvar Glante||Gustafsson, Zitron, Pontare||3:24|
|11.||"Misguided Heart"||Steve Robson, Hannah Robinson||Jiant||4:08|
|12.||"I Don't Wanna Talk About It"||Ivar Lisinski, David Clewett, Negin||Ivar Lisinski, Kriss K||4:26|
|13.||"Maybe"||Maryann Morgan, Molinder, Persson, Ankarberg||Twin||3:23|
|14.||"Secret's Out"||Celetia Martin, Mats Berntoft, Magnus Wallbert||Ivar Lisinski, Kriss K.||3:14|
|15.||"What If"||Adrian Newman||Boogieman, Roland Spremberg, Adrian Newman||4:10|
|16.||"Goodbye to Yesterday"||Niclas Molinder, Joacim Persson, Pelle Ankarberg, David Jassy||Twin||3:29|
|17.||"A Reason"||Derek Bramble, Lindy Robbins, Dana Glover||Twin, GrooveFactory||4:13|
|18.||"Ain't Gonna Look the Other Way"||Tracy Ackerman, Anders Bagge, Peer Astrom||Harry Sommerdahl||3:49|
|19.||"The Rhythm of My Heart"||Andreas John, Erik McHoll, Hanne Sørvaag, Adrian Zag, Alexah Carlton, Mario Novack||Thorsten Brötzmann||3:00|
|1.||"No Angels — Live in Concert"|
|2.||"No Angels — The New Videocollection" (incl. Making-ofs)|
|3.||"No Angels — Photo Slideshow"|
- Sampling credits
1Contains an uncredited sample of Supertramp's "Breakfast in America"; cover from Agnes Carlsson's 2006 album Stronger
2Contains an uncredited sample of The Beatles' 1969 record "Come Together"; re-recorded version of the same-titled 2006 song by Trine Rein
3Cover taken from Agnes Carlsson's 2006 album Stronger
4Re-written English language cover of French girl band L5's 2003 single "Reste Encore"
5Cover from Dana Glover's 2002 album Testimony cut
6Cover of off Womack & Womack's 1988 album Conscience
7Cover from Celine Dion's 2004 live album A New Day... Live in Las Vegas
|Austrian Albums Chart||14|
|European Top 100 Albums||14|
|German Albums Chart||4|
|Swiss Albums Chart||22|
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- NoAngels-Music.de — official site