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LABEL: Sheffield Tunes RELEASE DATE: December 2, 2011 GENRE: Hardstyle
// review by Jeff

Encore le hardstyle? C'est dommage!

2011 was the year of Scooter trying many new styles of music at a rapid rate: faster happy hardcore in a new age (Friends Turbo), electro house/trance similar to that of Swedish House Mafia and other modern artists (The Only One), and some seriously wild dubstep (David Doesn't Eat). All of these singles were unique but failed to make significant dents in the charts. Fearing extinction, they've gone back to the jumpstyle/hardstyle roots of 2007-2009 with "C'est Bleu", featuring legendary Greek vocalist Vicky Leandros.

Naturally, the Radio Edit takes immediate center stage. The hook of this song is based on "L'amour est bleu", a song first performed by Vicky Leandros (the guest on this single) way back in 1967. Since its first performance at the annual Eurovision contest, it has been covered by many artists since, apparently including Scooter, though they were lucky enough to collaborate with the original singer. This version starts out with a lovely Parisian intro, eventually swinging into Vicky's lyrics (also in French) before the loud hardstyle synths make their way into the arena along with frontman H.P. Baxxter's always crazy shouts. The song tends to get a bit repetitive after a while, to be honest, though they break it up by adding some wacky effects to the vocals -- and also, H.P. makes a standout claim: "Talent imitates, genius steals." That must make Scooter a group of geniuses... The chorus melody, on the other hand, is pretty tame and doesn't really stand out against their previous hits. Unfortunately, the song didn't grab my attention the first time I heard it, and it's not much better now, even when more compact when compared to the album version.

Scooter also included two additional versions of the song. The Dubstyle Mix keeps in line with the original version, but starts out in a more trance style. In the middle, there's a brief interlude of chaotic dubstep to break the generally linear style of the song, but it's only 25 seconds long, making this less of a Dubstep Mix and more of a Regular Mix With A Little Bit Of Dubstep Added For Good Measure. And, as usual, there's an Extended Version, which significantly lengthens the track to a smooth six minutes for the benefit of DJs. At least the bass in the intro is somewhat interesting, and there's a strange old man speaking giving a cryptic quote in the middle to break up the tension... as if that's what we needed.

I'm actually a bit disappointed that Scooter returned to hardstyle for another single. I had hoped that they had passed that stage of the band's career, but sometimes history is bound to repeat itself. And this isn't even close to being their best hardstyle track, so it's even more of a shame. The public has spoken, however: the single only reached #76 on the German charts. Maybe Scooter needs a full makeover; first step: ceasing all further hardstyle productions and focusing on their own classic unique style. Yeah, that sounds about right.


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