So, I been a pretty bad blogger so far in April, right? For an “international” music blog, every entry this month AND even last month was mostly related to something Japanese. I admit, one of my favorite genres is Japanese music because it’s so diverse (and so easy to get). But, let me make up to my non-Japanese music loving readers with this treat from the Down Under.
If you ever mention Deni Hines to any Aussie, they will most likely laugh. Most of my friends and coworkers did. They didn’t believe that Deni had a “one hit wonder” singing career outside her normal acting one. But, if you have no clue in what I am saying, just read on and hopefully things will make some sense by the end of this post.
Daughter of “American-turned-Australian” disco singer and stage actress Marcia Hines, Deni always dreamed that she could have a career like her mother’s successful musical career. After encouragement to pursue a career in music from her friend, Hines became a backup singer for popular Aussie artists’ tours like Kylie Minogue, Peter Blakeley, and others. A little while later, she was approached by the dance meets R&B band Rockmelons to be their leading vocalist for a couple of singles. She agreed and they released their first single together, a cover of Bill Wither’s song “Ain’t No Sunshine”, in 1991. She later parted ways with the band as went on to work with INXS on the song “Not Enough Time” .
But, what Deni was itching for was a solo career. She got her wish granted in late 1994 when she signed a deal with Mushroom Record. She released the R&B groove “It’s Alright” the summer after. According to Wikipedia, the sound from Deni’s solo career sharply differentiated from that from her collaborated singles with Rockmelons. Nevertheless, the song was a slight dance hit, reaching #4 on the Australian ARIA Single Charts. However, the success was short-lived.
Deni released her debut album, “Imagination”, in mid-1995 with disappointing sales. Furthermore, the album was a bigger disappointment when it was released overseas, only selling less than 300 copies. Nevertheless, Deni and her record label didn’t give up, they just went with a different solution; have Deni move the UK and release the album under a different name. It work somewhat as the re-branded album, now called “Pay Attention”, reached #35 on the UK Album Charts and produced some top twenty singles on the UK and US dance charts. Inspired by the semi-success, Deni released a remix album, featuring new versions of songs from her debut album, in 1998. However, like “Imagination”, like it didn’t fare well.
To this day, Deni Hines is still pretty active in the musical world. She has travelled around the world, worked with various artists like will.i.am, and starred in various musicals, movies, and even in the show “Celebrity Apprentice Australia”.
Although many laugh at Deni’s ill-willed solo career, I thoroughly enjoy it, especially “Imagination”. To be honest, I never knew of Deni Hines until I found “Imagination” in the “junk bin”, or what others call the albums that are heavily discounted because no one cares about, at the local second-hand electronics shop. I popped the CD into my computer, burned the songs on iTunes, and started to listen to the album. It was a while after I started listening that I thought, “Hey, this isn’t a bad album anyway!” and “It’s so 90’s R&B but the great part of it”.
I think the best song of “Imagination” is Deni’s first single, “It’s Alright”. It’s so 90’s R&B with the sound, the vocals, and even the video itself! It’s not too bad although as I can listen to this song over and over. The song starts out with a mellow intro with Deni singing a couple of “la la la”s. Then, it goes full in as the song transitions into the chorus and then the first verse. It’s during the first verse that Deni’s beautiful vocals are showcased. I love how Deni’s uses her vibrato, usually using it on the low notes, that enunciates the passion that characterizes the song. Also love her sliding “Ohs” in the middle of choruses; so unique yet pretty. It also has a lot of power; going from a calm setting in the chorus to the release of tension and emotions at the chorus.
I only wished the song had a better promotional video in Australia. I don’t really like to watch Deni just move her body all over a corner in a random room. And sometimes, she is trapped by this freaky men who is doing those weird spider moves on her. Maybe it’s just me, but those men are freaky. I really do like the outdoor shots as they shows off Deni’s smiling, sweet personality and dance moves really well. Actually, these type of shots describe my attitude for this song; I just want to dance freely and blast this song whenever I am driving, especially during the lovely spring weather we had this weekend.
Besides that, The Aussie crew should have took notes from “It’s Alight”‘s UK promo video when they were promoting her works as it isn’t weird as the other one, At least she is doing something normal with other people in a normal place. And her guy doesn’t look like some freaky arachnid!
Despite what people or facts might say about her short-lived music career, “Imagination” has some great songs that are really worthy to listen to. I might be a huge sucker for 90’s R&B, the album has a great sound that features the Deni’s strong vocals throughout. “Don’t judge a book by its cover” and try out “Imagination” one of these days!
AUS Promo Video:
UK Promo Video:
 Deni Hines. (2004, September 7). Retrieved April 26, 2015, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deni_Hines