For the first time in months, I'm taking a well deserved break this weekend. Trust me, if you knew how stressful non-blog world life has been the past month or so, you'd agree with me! So, it's over the mountains and through the woods to my best friend's house I go!
Meanwhile, I pick Magnus (brilliant song!) and Sebastian to advance in Melodifestivalen this week, for those who care!
“I was dancing like a heathen, running with the city rats"
On this last day of the #1 Hits birthday week, I'm going to give you all one last chance to pick up the brilliant Night At The Zoo by The Mo. There's one rule when listening to the following track: play it loud. The pounding chorus proves more transcendent than any church service that I've ever been to, and ten times more entertaining. I guarantee that you'll be hypnotized. How a band manages to pack this much brilliance into three and a half minutes is beyond me. Oh yeah... and about the album. Heathen is not even one of the top three songs on it. That should be enough to convince you...
I usually try to stick with music sung in English on this blog (only because it's easier for me to sing along), but this French (well, 98% French) track is too perfect not to post. Doesn't matter if you don't understand a word of it... it's so fantastically catchy. The sound is new-wave inspired glam pop (isn't that basically a given by now on #1 Hits?) and it's a sterling example of the genre. Plus, it's got the clever gueule/girl thing going on. I don't know if gueule is actually a word, though. Anybody who speaks French care to share?
*EDIT: Okay, so gueule means mouth. Kinda throws out my whole girl theory.
In addition to being Valentines Day, today is special at #1 Hits because it's the blog's one year anniversary! If you would have asked me one year ago whether this site would still be up and running today, I would have probably said no. But, the success of my tiny project has definitely surprised me. I first started #1 Hits because I realized that there was a whole world of music out there that none of the people I knew (except for the ones I had directly influenced) even realized existed. Last year alone, I'd say a fair 80-90% of the music I listened to and loved was from overseas. I love sharing my discoveries with you all and hope that you've found a band that you can be passionate about through this site.
In honor of the anniversary, I'm posting today the very first song I ever posted on this blog. Swedish band The Mo defines the kind of music that I want #1 Hits to represent. Their music is truly some of the best in the world and is utterly unknown to those outside of Scandinavia. Well, you have no excuse any longer.
Just listen to The Right World, perhaps my favorite song of all time. It is perfect... an absolute pop masterpiece. The first time I heard it I was completely entranced. It sounded like something that should be on my radio, yet like nothing I had ever heard in America. It has everything I love about pop music: a killer riff, an undeniable, anthematic melody, a charismatic singer... and that special extra something. I still get chills everytime I hear it.
The Right World is taken from The Mo's second (and sadly, final) album, Night At The Zoo. Frontman Nicko now plays with Melody Club and will be releasing a solo album later this year. For now, in the hopes that you will pick this album up immediately, I'll offer a track by track review.
1. Man Dressed Animals - With a carnival kind of atmosphere, this catchy rock song introduces the album's theme... that there is an animal inside of everybody.
2. Bring Me A Spotlight - With a catchy guitar riff that reminds me of a kazoo, this mid-tempo rock track has got a killer chorus.
3. Howl In The Jungle - The first absolute masterpiece on the album. We're talking about an essential pop melody here with a singalong chorus. Nicko's voice is amazing on this track.
4. The Right World - Best song ever.
5. Beneath My Moon - A jazzy, slow number that is very eighties Billy Joel in delivery. The weakest track here, but still an absolute hit.
6. Rats On The Radio - In true Mo form, this is a very self referential track. It borrows parts of the melody to Little Drummer Boy but ends up sounding very different. A fist in the air kind of track.
7. Ghosts Of Love - A cheesy, 80's power rock track with a shout along chorus. Anything that opens with a foghorn has got to work.
8. Nostalgia Locomotive - The band's duet with Kris Le Mans, and their biggest hit. This is simply a gorgeous ballad with amazing drum work. Better than Angels, I'm serious.
9. Dancing Like A Heathen - The brilliant title says it all, doesn't it? This is a stunning piano laced power pop tune wit hone of the catchiest choruses ever.
10. All The Time (What's That About) - A beautiful, african sounding closer. Very eighties and very summery.
In short, a perfect album and one that I believe everyone should own. If you've liked what I've recommended before, this is going to be your new favorite record.
Bosson is a popular Swedish pop singer with terminally bad hair. In fact, if his voice wasn't so spot-on perfect, the image thing would probably be a problem. He simply doesn't look like a pop star. Putting that aside, though, You is a soaring track with incredible vocals (especially on the chorus). Bosson's been around for awhile, but this track is one of his more recent, debuting in 2006. It is undoubtedly over the top pop fluff, but it is also high quality. Very Eurovision, in fact.
If you like Hot Hot Heat (and really, why wouldn't you?) you should love We Are the Fury. The band plays the same kind of jerky dance rock with perhaps a bit more of a glam edge to it. Actually, some of the tracks on the band's full length debut wouldn't be completely out of place on My Chemical Romance's new glam inspired album. Now You Know could have easily been yet another emo-punk track trying to be glamorous, but the piano and thomping beat allow it to be a bit more. Plus, the band's got some of the best album covers around. Click here to see the cover to their album Venus and see what I'm talking about.
In honor of The Ark's well deserved win at Melodifestivalen yesterday with the glamtastic The Worrying Kind, I've decided that today's EP will be devoted to modern day glam rock, one of my absolute favorite genres and one that has seen a huge revival in the past few years. From the stomping riffs of the Fratellis and Captain Murphy and the spacey thump of Goldfrapp and Rachel Stevens, here's a compilation that will surely get you moving.
*mp3s will be up for a very short time
1. Living Things - Bom Bom Bom 2. The Fratellis - Chelsea Dagger 3. Captain Murphy - I Belong To The Girls 4. Goldfrapp - Ooh La La 5. Switches - Hide 6. Chesterwhite & His Orchestra - Moonage Daydream 7. Rachel Stevens - Some Girls 8. Pepper's Ghost - Heavy Body Bag
The Ark - The Worrying Kind (Live at Melodifestivalen)
Here it is, folks... the performance that should claim victory at Eurovision this year. The Ark is the best band in the world, I won't even open it for debate! I love the costume, the choreography and the attitude. And, of course the song is just crazy.
...Transmissions come in from outposts all over the universe... Unfamiliar melodies stream into our radios... Fronted by colorful aliens with big voices... The music begins to catch on ... It's in our heads and it refuses to leave... And we like it...
I post music on this blog out of love for the artists and in the hope that I can promote the singers and bands that I am so passionate about. If you are (or represent) an artist and would like any content taken down, don't hesitate to email me at the link above and it will be removed immediately.