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Saturday, January 13, 2007

Adam Ant - Friend Or Foe (1982)

Friend Or Foe was Adam's first album after splitting with the Ants. And, while it didn't differ too much from his previous sound (i.e. lots of interesting percussion and glammy, punk attitude), it was his first more pop-oriented work. Working again with main collaborator Marco Pirroni and boasting the huge hits Goody Two Shoes and Desperate But Not Serious, it was also the most successful release of his career in America. And, listening to the record, it's clear why.

Friend Or Foe is adventurous pop, the work of an artist unlike any other and with his own distinct vision. Incorporating elements of punk, soul, new wave, guitar pop, funk and any other genre you could think of, the tracks are both varied and gloriously catchy. Some critics dismissed the album's pop leanings, but Adam Ant has never been so addictive as he was here.

Singles: Goody Two Shoes, Friend Or Foe, Desperate But Not Serious

Made Of Money: A surprisingly gorgeous guitar strummer, even though lyrically it's quite dark. Much of Friend Or Foe dealt with the woes of fame, and this is not any different. But, as always, Adam infuses the song with his unique vision.

Try This For Sighs: A perfect compliment to Goody Two Shoes, this track uses a lot of the same instrumentation to create a real throwdown of a dance track.

Buy It!

Goody Two Shoes Music Video

Friday, January 12, 2007

#1 Hits News

Denmarks' Alphabeat, one of my most anticipated acts of 2007 (#4, to be exact), has posted another amazing new track (Fantastic 6) on their myspace from their forthcoming debut. If they can keep creating these perfect pop nuggets, we're really in for a treat come February. My only word of advice to this fab band: please get a real website soon!

The Delays, whose most recent release You See Colours was my #1 album of 2006, have finally signed to a new record label. And, more excitingly, they plan to have another new album out by the end of the year! Thanks to Jessica for this uber-exciting news!

"I have become angry riff man"

Scottish band data Panik play the jerky 80's-revivalist new wave that we know so well, but their specialty seems to be creating songs containing not even a second of boredom. Immediately from the start, Rulers And The States will entice you with its driving riff, followed quickly with a "la la la la" section worthy of Kaiser Chiefs praise. As I've said before, every time I get bored with this particular genre of music, I discover a song like this that makes me fall in love with it all over again.

mp3: data Panik - Rulers And The States

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists! No album, but buy other tracks here.)

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Video Premiere: Melody Club - Fever Fever

A strangely shot low-budget video accompanies the second single from Scream. It's far more interesting than the band's last video, even with the apparently limited budget. Face it, though, there's nobody else out there right now that looks like (or dances like - especially at the 1:40 mark...whoa) Kristofer. More than anything, the video is a showcase for him and his alien charms.


"And you say you have to be there, 'cause you feel so ordinary"

Another Labrador Records signing today, as I spotlight the Mary Onettes' synth flavored indie-pop. Lost is currently in rotation on Swedish radio and it's quite a nice little song. Best part: the pulsing chorus. Like the song by Loveninjas that I posted earlier this week, it doesn't hit you over the head the very first time. Instead, it slowly creeps into your memory. Plus, it's the perfect song for a sunny, cold, snowy winter like we're having right now in the Pacific Northwest. Part of me feels like I'm back in Stockholm with all the snow on the ground and freezing temperatures.

zshare: The Mary Onettes - Lost
yousendit: The Mary Onettes - Lost

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists! Buy the album here.)

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


"And she said Yeah-eah-eah!!"

Today's post is a good old fashioned club song. It's simple, pretty stupid, and insanely catchy. ...And She Said was a hit this summer in parts of Europe but, as far as I know, didn't really make it over to the States (or at least not with the same success as it achieved elsewhere). It's a shame, because as far as one-off pop/club tracks go, it's a pretty good one. In between the singalong chorus and the thumping verses, there's really not much room for sitting still. If you like your pop music big and shiny, give this a listen. Even if you hate it, you can't tell me that it's not a catchy little thing.

zshare: Lucas Prata - ...And She Said
yousendit: Lucas Prata - ...And She Said

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists! Buy the album here.)

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


"Will I see the light by the end of night?"

Sugarbeet call themselves "club rock." There's definitely a strong hip-hop influence in their music as well. If you like bands like Tahiti 80, or even Maroon 5, this is definitely one to add to the list. Sugarbeet is Ulrik and Frederik Suneseen, two brothers from Denmark. Clubbing All Night, off their most recent album Club Rock (I'm sensing a theme here), has an undeniable swagger with a great vocal and some soulful live instrumentation added to the thumping track. Whew... that's a lot of plusses. Basically, if you're in the mood for a simple, summer-sounding single (dig the alliteration on that!), you couldn't do much better than this track.

mp3: Sugarbeet - Clubbing All Night

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists! Buy the album here.)

Monday, January 08, 2007

Lil' Chris - Lil' Chris
Release Date: December 4th, 2006

Label: RCA

If I were to tell you that the best new wave power rock record of the year belonged to a sixteen year old kid named Lil’ Chris, you probably wouldn’t believe me. But, it could very well be true. Lil’ Chris (born Chris Hardman, a veteran of Gene Simmons’ reality show Rock School) has created the only teenage pop/rock record worth listening to in a good long while.

If this was a different situation (if Chris didn’t look like he was 12 and sing like he was 10) we’d be in Franz Ferdinand territory… only better. Any new wave revivalist would be lucky to have tracks as brilliantly catchy as Gettin’ Enough and Is She Ready? in their catalog. In fact, the whole of the album is one giant hook propelled with enough youthful energy to nearly set it alight. Blistering cuts like first single Checkin’ It Out and Rock School-featured Is There Anybody Out There? retain their fuck-you attitude while still remaining catchy and accessible, while beautifully understated electro ballad I Never Noticed becomes a sort of modern Ben moment for Chris.

The record is short and punchy (much like the artist), which keeps things going at a perfect pace. Chris’s rock and roll posturing is continually fascinating and, while most likely annoying some, is the real reason the album works so well. It sounds like the work of a teenager. Most every song is about girls or sex or (in most cases) a combination of both. None of this, of course, would be anything special if the songs weren’t so great. Balking the usual teenage trend, Chris co-writes all his material and, judging from the results, he should. Lesson learned: the kids are alright, and I really should have dropped my preconceptions and checked this guy out sooner. A-

Key Tracks: Gettin’ Enough, I Never Noticed, Is She Ready?
#1 Hits News: Title & Tracklisting of Kaiser Chiefs' New Record Announced

Love the title!

Yours Truly, Angry Mob

1. Ruby
2. The Angry Mob
3. Heat Dies Down
4. Highroyds
5. Love's Not A Competition (But I'm Winning)
6. Thank You Very Much
7. I Can Do It Without You
8. My Kind Of Guy
9. Everything Is Average Nowadays
10. Boxing Champ
11. Learnt My Lesson Well
12. Try Your Best
13. Retirement

Out February 26th (Europe) and March 27th (North America)

Loveninjas - I Wanna Be Like Johnny C

"I wanna be like you!"

I Wanna Be Like Johnny C, the new single from Swedish group Loveninjas, possesses the kind of shimmering pop melody that groups like Pulp and, more recently, The Upper Room excell at. I actually know shockingly little about the band, but I think that this song speaks for itself. It just keeps building and building until it bursts into an anthematic rave. In fact, I would put it right alongside Pulp's Common People. In a lot of ways, it's very similar and a nice compliment to that classic. Plus, the whole thing's pretty funny... in a serious way of course.

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists! Buy the album here.)

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Random Sundays...

On Sundays I've decided that I'm really just going to post whatever... one week it might be themed, one week it might be something completely off topic. Today, though, I've compiled an EP's worth of songs that all fit under the category 70's AOR Revisited. With bands like The Feeling topping the British charts and artists like Mika and Scissor Sisters pretty much a staple on this blog, melodic, piano based rock is making a resurgence. It's like we've stepped back further from all the 80's new wave influence and began reevaluating 70's bands like Supertramp and Styx.

I think the following list offers a fantastic representation of the genre. Each track is the kind of song that you fall in love with before you're even finished with the first listen. Enjoy, and let me know if you particularly like any of the bands!

1. LEO - Don't Let It Go
2. Ella Rouge - Jekyll N Hyde
3. Razorlight - Who Needs Love
4. Mohair - L.A. Song
5. Persephone's Bees - Even Though I'm Fooling Around
6. BC Camplight - Blood & Peanut Butter
7. McFly - Little Joanna
8. Pepper's Ghost - How 'Bout It Now