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Saturday, May 15, 2010

Liam Lever - Welcome To Earth

I don't post on weekends. Ever. So something's gotta be really important for me to do it. And this song is definitely important. I've been sitting on this one for quite a long time (about two months now), waiting for a full version (in any format) to be available. Previously, there's only been a two minute clip on his myspace. And I'm happy to be the first anywhere to blog about this song.
Those with good memories will remember Liam Lever as I Am Finn, who had a great electro-rock single a couple of years (that tragically didn't get the attention it deserved) called Hard. He also had a handful of other tracks that were equally amazing (and equally unrecognized for their amazingness).
Now he's back and even better. This song, in particular, blew me away the first time I heard it. It's one of those revelatory feelings, like the first time I heard the Mo or Melody Club. And now, out of nowhere, he's got a low-budget video to go along with it. Amazing. I want this guy to become the premier male popstar in the UK. Watch this now, and tell your friends how amazing it is. Music like this shouldn't go unnoticed.
Oh, and coincidentally, it's my birthday today. I'll consider this a nice, unexpected gift!

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Friday, May 14, 2010

Rogue Traders - Would You Raise Your Hands

"If I raise my hands would that make you dance?"

Rogue Traders is one of those bands that I should love. Yet their music has never really done anything for me, until this single. I've enjoyed all of their prior singles to a point, but they've never been enough to make me want to investigate an album. Now the band's back with a new singer (the punky Melinda Jackson replaces now-solo Natalie Bassingthwaighte). This is going to be sacrilege to long-time fans, but I actually prefer Jackson's Minogue-gone-punk vocals to Bassingthwaighte's, which tended to be more dance diva. Their sound this time around ups the electro influences, and this is by far the best single I've heard from the band. In fact, it's one of the best songs of this genre I've heard all year. They even sample one of my musical heroes, Adam Ant. And it's one of those brief, we're-gonna-honor-you samples, as opposed to the usual we're-gonna-exploit-your-success sample. The beat is ferocious and the vocals sneer while still retaining a definite pop edge. There's a hungry, urgent energy at play here that's completely refreshing. I may just have to give the next album a listen. This is a Rogue Traders I can get behind.

Rogue Traders - Would You Raise Your Hands 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.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Greyson Chance - Paparazzi

I'm sure you've all seen this already, but in case you've somehow escaped the 12-year-old Oklahoma phenom, here's the chill-inducing video. Now this is a Susan Boyle-type phenomenon I can fully get behind! Somebody get this kid a recording contract, pronto!!

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Track-by-Track: Elin Lanto - Love Made Me Do It

There's a habit of Swedish pop artists releasing a million singles before finally collecting them all in an album. Fellow dance-diva Velvet is a prime example. Elin Lanto follows suit, releasing her new album on the heel of six (!) singles (two of which aren't included here, but should be). Does the rest of the album live up to what we've already heard?

1. Hater - What is it with these Swedish pop divas putting the wrong song as their album's opening track? First Linda Sundblad, now Elin Lanto. Positioned somewhere else in the album, this would be a fine midtempo rocky track. Placed here, the album implodes before it really starts. 7/10

2. Funeral - And now we're talking. Even with its dark, spiteful lyrics, the buoyancy of the melody makes this one of the most addictive tracks on the album. The chorus is transcendent. Would've made a great opener. 10/10

3. Tickles - The second perfect pop song on the album, and a polar opposite in tone from the last one. Wisely chosen as a single, it's the kind of thing that Elin does best. Fun, memorable pop music. 10/10

4. Doctor Doctor - Her 2010 Melodifestivalen entry, and a rockier style for her. It seems somewhat unpopular among fans (and the voting public in Sweden!), but I think it's fantastic. It's certainly got one of the better choruses on the album, and attitude to spare. 9/10

5. Alien - The first real ballad, this is a dramatic track about not fitting in. It's got some stately production and Lanto's vocals really soar, but something about it doesn't really hit me like it should. 8/10

6. Love Made Me Stupid - A previous single, and probably my least favorite of her newer single releases. That being said, she's had a seriously great track record and this is still highly above average. It's just a tad repetitive. That's all. 8/10

7. Toy Boy - A massive dance track, this would have probably been a better selection for Melodifestivalen this year. It's got that huge, campy schlager feeling to it. Still, it's not as edgy or melodic as her best stuff. 8/10

8. Give It All Up - A mid-tempo pop track with a nice melody. I'd certainly rate it higher than the album opener, and probably just a notch above Alien as well. Sure, it doesn't call as much attention to itself, but the chorus is better, if a little sappy. 8/10

9. Good Stuff - A fun, inconsequential dance track. And in that, it really triumphs. There's some interesting sounds going on here and Elin's voice sounds amazing. Unfortunately, the melody falls a little short, making it another 8/10

10. My Favorite Pair Of Jeans - Another old single, this one sounds a bit out of place since it's basically straight-up electro-pop. Both Discotheque and Speak n' Spell (not included on the album) are miles better than this, but it holds its own with a hypnotic, Kylie-esque melody. 8/10

11. Singing Goodbye - A cheesy, 80's sounding ballad. It's not the type of stuff Elin's all that convincing at, and it's not a particularly satisfying ending to the album. All in all, it joins Hater as the most underwhelming tracks, though I'll admit she sounds great on it (as usual). And I do like that over-the-top guitar. 7/10

Album Grade: 8.3/10

Alienhits "best possible" version: 1. Tickles 2. Funeral 3. Discotheque 4. Doctor Doctor 5. Love Made Me Stupid 6. Give It All Up 7. Speak n' Spell 8. Toy Boy 9. Good Stuff 10. My Favorite Pair Of Jeans 11. Alien

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Infernal - Love Is All

"You can not let go until you get the love you need"

Danish dance-poppers Infernal had one of the best--and most varied--pop albums of 2008. I'm delighted to see them back. One thing I've noticed about the duo is that they often pick their most straightforward, non-standout tracks for singles and leave the real brilliant stuff for the album. I have a feeling that Love Is All follows the same trend. It's nice, catchy synthpop bound to do well in the clubs. And while it might be missing that extra little spark that ignites the very best Infernal songs, it'll still be in heavy rotation this summer on my mp3 player. It's a little Cascada-esque, actually, which makes me wonder if it would do well in the States. Regardless, what I'm really excited about is the upcoming album. I'm still not sick of Electric Cabaret (2008's release) and would be thrilled with another song as energetic and weird as that album's Punk Disco. For now, though, I'll be singing along to this.

Infernal - Love Is All by alienhits

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


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Ola Joyce - Old Fashioned Heartbreak

"Your heart was to be broken the old fashioned way"

Surprisingly, I've been one of the only bloggers to write about the fantastic Ola Joyce. He's one of those artists that I feel very confident about, success-wise. He's going to quietly sneak up and take Sweden by storm. After that, who knows? Despite this, in my opinion the album's about half-brilliant, half-forgettable. But... when he's firing on all pistons, he's got an innate talent for a classic pop song. Old Fashioned Heartbreak is one of the album's triumphs: a zippy, hand clap infused soul-pop ditty. I loved it (and could sing it back) instantly. Always a good sign. It's like one long hook, continually repeated. This could get stale (or grating), but Joyce's lyrics and the jauntiness of the music guarantees that it never gets old. It's in simplicity of the melody that the best pop songs are created. In that way I guess this is a bit old-fashioned. No problem there.

Ola Joyce - Old Fashioned Heartbreak by milproj

(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 10, 2010

Scissor Sisters - Fire With Fire

"It used to seem we were number one"

Summer 2010 has its anthem. The Scissor Sisters are back, and boy how I've missed them! They've been gone so long that I didn't realize how much I needed them back. Ever since I heard Invisible Light (their epic album-ending teaser released a few weeks ago), I was on the edge of my seat for the first official single. And it doesn't disappoint. One thing I love about the Sisters is their ability to shift from sexy,club-infused cult-pop (Invisible Light) to soaring, classical pop songwriting (Fire With Fire). Some folks only seem to like one or the other, but it's in this combination of sounds that the band truly show what they can do. The Stuart Price produced Fire With Fire is essentially The Killers' Human Part Two, but with Jake Shears' Elton-esque vocals and that simple, catchy hook, I think they've got a hit on their hands. It's a return to form after the last album kind of fizzled out after the success of I Don't Feel Like Dancin. The new album, Night Work, is released at the end of next month. I'll be first in line to buy my copy, for sure. Can't wait.

Scissor Sisters - Fire With Fire by alienhits

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