When I first discovered September’s second album by getting caught in a loop of Amazon target marketing, I immediately proved that it works on suckers like me and purchased her first album as well.
September’s euro house and electronic dance music has plenty of 80s influence, which had me hooked. Her songs are loaded with catchy melodies, so it all goes down quite easy. How can you go wrong with excessive use of lyrics like: la la la la la la la la; na na na; di-di-di-di-di-di; oh la di da da; and ho-oh-oh? But believe me, amongst all that baby talk there are some serious standout tracks on each album.
2003’s self-titled album isn’t even a sign of things to come. September’s signature sound is there from the start, with house beats, blips and bleeps, rich synths, and some auto-tuning fun—but not because September can’t sing. Because she can. The auto-tuning is pure electro gimmickry. Most of the vocals are pure September. Yet this is still just a warm-up album for me, with only a couple of songs really standing out. Surprisingly, “We Can Do It,” which features the chorus melody from the S.O.S. Band’s classic “Take Your Time (Do It Right),” isn’t one of them. It’s kind of novelty and has this bleeping riff that I swear was pulled from the old 1970s instrumental track “Popcorn” by Hot Butter. Wasn’t this song used as the theme for the Late Late Late Movie in the 70s???
My two favorites on the September album:
“September All Over” is a hell of a great way to mention your name in one of your songs subtly (“Gaga, ooh la la”). This song is melodic but not too commercial, with a mellow dance ambience—and some nice synth strings. Love it.
“Star Generation” is another smooth dance track with a fantastic melody, and some keyboard background that sounds straight out of an Erasure song. In fact, I could easily here Andy Bell belting this one out, right down to the occasional “A Little Respect”-esque falsetto notes. There’s even a great melodic guitar solo near the end.
2005’s In Orbit features the single “Cry for You,” which eventually became a fairly successful radio hit on a New York dance station. The album’s upbeat disco house tracks have so much commercial potential. But let’s ignore those for the harder stuff, shall we?
“Satellites” is the first winner, with a hard synth riff and stomping beat. Even so, September’s mellow voice and the catchy chorus make this one viable for pop radio.
“Midnight Heartache” is the star track here, simply because it samples the intro to Kim Carnes’ version of Bette David Eyes” perfectly, the entire song capturing the same moody tone as the Carnes’ classic.
“Sound Memory” is awesome in its 80s electro influence—there’s some Human League homage, for sure. Add to that some angelic soprano background vocal and—it’s fricking heavenly!!!
Finally, “End of the Rainbow” is mellow and melodic yet high on the BPMs, with synth riffs and sequencing running rampant, just the way I like it.
2007’s Dancing Shoes goes for even more 80s electro saturation, with September evolving into an even more intense dance artist. In fact, it’s difficult for me to select any particular favorites on this one—but I did.
“Can’t Get Over” is another electro track with some heavy bass synth in Human League fashion.
“R.I.P.” has a great dark title, but it’s actually a very light and pretty synth-driven dance track with a lush arrangement and melody.
“Start It Up” is sort of like September’s answer to Rihanna’s “Shut Up and Drive.” A great electro synth riff takes the steering wheel on this one.
“Freaking Out” is an apt title for a strong dance track with a driving beat and some nice guitar accents. It’s a good hint of things to come—four years later!!! Yes, it took four years for September to release a fourth album. But man was it worth the wait.
The songs on 2011’s Love CPR are just as accessible as her previous recordings, but this is no longer a subtle dance record you put on in the background while prepping to go out to a big club—this is the kind of stuff you’d want to hear AT the club.
If this album were given ANY attention by American radio, it could easily hold its own against Britney Spears, Lady GaGa, Ke$ha and Kylie Minogue. I could practically label every song on here as a favorite, but that would be too easy.
“Resuscitate Me” is a stunner. It’s like September’s danceable take on the theme of the Jordin Sparks/Chris Brown duet “No Air.”
“Aside from being a great song, “Intimate Connection” gets points just for the contradiction of its human-centric title being sung in a robotic voice.
The intense “Heat Rising” celebrates sci-fi new wave and has a killer chorus.
“Ricochet” has just as much of a hook, on top of a stomping rhythm track.
“My Emergency” is a perfect combination of September’s signature melodies with a pounding electro dance track.
“Walk Alone” continues September’s streak of elegant dance music. Smooth as Dove chocolate. (What can I say? I’m eating a piece right now as I listen to the song).
“White Flag” takes September into more aggressive territory. This song could be a HUGE radio hit in the U.S.!!! I wish I owned a radio station so I could get this fricking song into heavy rotation.
Finally, the moment September’s career has been leading up to: “Hands Up.” This is September’s masterpiece. Gorgeous melody and synths. Play this song and the clouds part and a great beam of light cascades down upon you from the heavens. The song’s only flaw? It’s only 3 and a half minutes long. September, you may have to retire after this one. There’s no topping perfection.September - Hands Up