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Friday, May 07, 2010

Monarchy - The Phoenix Alive

"We can keep the spirits safe from harm"

There are so many of these new synth-pop bands coming out right now. I don't like writing about what every other blog writes about (what would be the point, right?), but I'm often loving these "it" bands as well. Monarchy's taken me awhile to get around to, and it'll probably take an entire album for me to really appreciate them, but they're definitely on my radar. The Phoenix Alive is the big single right now, and although I'm doubting it will be their big breakthrough, it's a very nice slice of icy electropop. The song kinda sails along indifferently until it hits the chorus, which really makes it worth noting. It actually reminds me a lot of an Annie song (Anthonio, in particular). It's got that same sort of coolness to it that could easily be off-putting but ends up winning me over after repeated listens.

Monarchy - The Phoenix Alive by alienhits

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists. Buy their tracks here. Follow me on twitter and facebook.


Thursday, May 06, 2010

Elin Lanto - Funeral

"No matter if you end up in Heaven or in Hell, I'll be dancing on your funeral"

I'm sure all of you hardcore Swedish pop fans have already heard this track, but it's still worth hyping outside of the pop music world. Elin Lanto has gone for a slightly rougher (aka: better) sound with her new album, and although this is a surging dance tune through and through, the rough edge can definitely be seen in the dark, vengeful lyrics. The bubblegum nature of the backing track masks an extremely dark tone, and it's this contrast that really sets the song apart. It's the one track on the album that seems to be everyone's favorite. It's just one of those songs. It doesn't hurt that Elin's raspy voice fits the attitude perfectly. And once the track hits the chorus, everything explodes. She's really giving fellow Swede-poppers September a run for their money.

Elin Lanto - Funeral by alienhits

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists. Buy the album here. Follow me on twitter and facebook.


Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Pop Blitz 5/5/10 (Diva Edition)

Miley Cyrus - Can't Be Tamed
Despite some cringe-worthy lyrics, Cyrus maintains her string of great pop singles. It's more dance/urban this time around, which shouldn't really work with her husky voice. But it does. B+

Kelly Rowland - Commander
After her big dance hit last year, Rowland's decided to stick with the genre. Good move. Shame this isn't as strong as last year's. It's not bad, but the vocals do get a little shrill at points. B-

Shakira - Waka Waka (This Time For Africa)
It was written for the World Cup and certainly works in that context. Taken on its own, it's a great piece of African-inspired Shakira-pop. Not catchy enough to be a major hit, but pleasant. B

Christina Aguilera - Not Myself Tonight
The song, and accompanying video, just screams desperation. Worst of all, it's virtually hookless. A big step back for her, and hopefully not a sign of what's to come from the album. C-

Janet Jackson - Nothing
A one-off soundtrack cut from Jackson, and thank god for that because this is pretty sleepy. An attempt to replicate past, better, ballads, it comes up a little short. C

Mini Viva - One Touch
I'm in love with this. It's got one of the strongest bridges of any pop song this year and is a great example of that old-school Xenomania pop. Stuffed with hooks. A

Kelis - Acapella
Her foray into dance music, and definitely a success. The hypnotic beat stands out more than anything else, though I bet there's better stuff on the album. B+

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Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Timoteij - Dansar i månens sken (Dancing in the Moonlight)

I'm not usually one for songs performed in a different language, but I'm completely taken with Timoteij's new debut album. It's one of the most fun, overblown pop records in awhile, and easily breaks language barriers. The group should have won Sweden's Melodifestivalen with the brilliantly cheesy Kom, and if you liked that song you'll love the album. Most of the tracks follow the same format: big drums, synthesized ethno-instrumentation, and a huge hook of a chorus. I'm convinced that if Dansar i månens sken was translated into English, given to one of our popstars (doesn't really matter who) and pushed into the mainstream, it would be a worldwide hit. It's a huge-sounding dance track with an inescapable instrumental hook in the chorus. Lead singer Cecilia Kallin's vocals remain as adorably captivating as they were on Kom. She really is Sweden's answer to Taylor Swift (except without the annoying parts). On Dansar it's the little bit of falsetto she uses in the chorus that sends the track over the edge. If you're a little apprehensive about giving the album a listen, I hope this steers you in the right direction.

Timoteij - Dansar i månens sken (Dancing in the Moonlight) by alienhits

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists. Buy the album here. Follow me on twitter and facebook.


Monday, May 03, 2010

Vinnie Who - What You Got Is Mine

"I never saw you on the other side"

Disco! Long live the genre, even if a lot of the original 70's stuff does nothing for me. This, though, is neo-disco-pop out of Denmark. What could be better than that? Vinnie Who are just starting to blow up overseas, and rightfully so. They're a band to watch for sure--the debut album's bound to be amazing. As for this song, take vocals reminiscent to Thomas Troelsen's epic band Private, a hypnotic beat right out of the late 70's, and a ridiculously catchy melody and you've got a winner. It's even got those classic disco strings! What results from all this careful production is something that sounds classic, yet completely works in the modern realm of pop music. The second half is particularly impressive. The vocals drop out for the final portion, replaced by what can only be described as a synthesized disco symphony. Face it, you're going to dance. It's pretty much inescapable.

Vinnie Who - What You Got Is Mine by alienhits

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists. Buy the single here. Follow me on twitter and facebook.